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RIAA: We’ve Only “Contacted” 18,000 File-Sharers

RIAA: We’ve Only “Contacted” 18,000 File-Sharers

Of which it claims only 4,000 have decided to settle rather than fight the charges in court.

The attorney in charge of the RIAA’s P2P enforcement program, Matthew J. Oppenheim, submitted written testimony in the case of Andersen v. Atlantic Recording recently in which he claims the RIAA has only “contacted” a little over 18,000 people for suspicion of illegal file-sharing over the years, 4,000 of which decided to settle out of court (2,000 of these were students and faculty).

Tanya Anderson, a disable mother living in Oregon, is the first to launch a class action lawsuit targeting the RIAA, the Big 4 record labels, and anti-P2P firm MediaSentry for perpetuating a “campaign of threat and intimidation.”

The plaintiffs include:

Those who were sued or were threatened with suit by Defendants for file-sharing, downloading or other similar activities, who have not actually engaged in actual copyright infringement.

In other words, on behalf of all the innocent people the music biz and its cohorts have wrongly targeted over the years.

Oppenheim is trying to play down the number of people it’s “contacted” so as to undermine the nature of Anderson’s lawsuit.

“Of the 18,000 cases, approximately 7,000 resulted in a non-Doe lawsuit against a named individual,” he writes in his brief. “The rest ended without litigation, either because the PNL recipient settled. or because the Record Companies, for any number of reasons, chose not to sue.”

What makes the number 18,000 so interesting though is that it seems oddly low considering its frequent use of inflated facts and figures over the years to make file-sharing seem rampant and widespread.

“I’m pretty sure I saw an RIAA press release about 4 years ago which said that the number sued as of that time was around 25,000,” says attorney Ray Beckerman of Recording Industry vs the People.

Stay tuned.

[email protected]

Jared Moya
I've been interested in P2P since the early, high-flying days of Napster and KaZaA. I believe that analog copyright laws are ill-suited to the digital age, and that art and culture shouldn't be subject to the whims of international entertainment industry conglomerates. Twitter | Google Plus


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