The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has begun sending warnings to individuals who offer copyrighted songs on peer-to-peer networks without authorization.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has begun sending warnings to individuals who offer copyrighted songs on peer-to-peer networks without authorization, Billboard Bulletin reports.

As part of its anti-piracy education initiative launched last year, the RIAA plans to send up to 1 million copyright-infringement warnings per month via P2P networks' instant messaging (IM) functions.

The warnings begin, "It appears that you are offering copyrighted music to others from your computer." They go on to explain the pitfalls of downloading music illegally, and implore the alleged abusers to cease and desist the practice by disabling their file-sharing software.

Civil-liberties organization the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) says the campaign amounts to nothing more than "a lot of spam." "How is this going to put the P2P genie back in the bottle?" asks EFF senior intellectual property attorney Fred von Lohmann. "Do they really think they can essentially intimidate 60 million Americans into no longer using [P2P networks]?"

Also participating in the campaign are the American Federation of Musicians, Christian Music Trade Association, and Gospel Music Association.