The move fulfills the pledge the trade group made to Sens. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) at a recent hearing on peer-to-peer piracy.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has begun sending notification letters to individuals allegedly distributing copyrighted music over file-sharing networks, Billboard Bulletin reports. The move fulfills the pledge the trade group made to Sens. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) at a recent hearing on peer-to-peer piracy.

A total of 204 letters were sent last week. The individuals who received the notifications had allegedly distributed an average of 1,000 copyrighted music files.

The RIAA says it intends to continue its enforcement program "on a regular basis." Individuals who do not resolve the claims in the letter within 10 days will be sued for copyright infringement in the same manner as those named in the original 261 suits against consumers filed by the RIAA in September.

"We take the concerns expressed by policymakers and others very seriously," says RIAA president Cary Sherman. "In light of the comments we have heard, we want to go the extra mile and offer illegal file sharers an additional chance to work this out short of legal action."

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