In an indication that its patience is wearing thin following the Supreme Court's decision in the Grokster case this summer, the recording industry's trade association has sent "cease and desist" lette

WASHINGTON, D.C. (The Hollywood Reporter) -- In an indication that its patience is wearing thin following the Supreme Court's decision in the Grokster case this summer, the recording industry's trade association has sent "cease and desist" letters to seven peer-to-peer services, officials with the Recording Industry Assn. of America said Sept. 15.

The letters mark the next step in the recording industry's battle to stop illegal music downloading on P2P services since the court ruled that file-sharing services are liable for copyright theft if they induce their customers to steal songs, movies and other intellectual property.

"In its ruling in MGM vs. Grokster, the Supreme Court noted that technological options -- like filtering -- are readily available and would effectively prevent the wholesale theft of copyrighted works," the RIAA said when asked about the letters. "Additionally, record companies have demonstrated a strong desire to work with a variety of legitimate online enterprises that respect the rights of creators and provide high-quality music to fans. For a number of legitimate peer-to-peer services, those wheels are well in motion."

While there was no date specified for the companies to take action, an RIAA official said that the companies risk a lawsuit that could shut them down if they don't respond.

"The transition to a legitimate online model is clear and achievable; the implications associated with ignoring that opportunity are great," the RIAA said in its statement. "Companies situated similarly to Grokster have been given ample opportunity to do the right thing. There is a right way and a wrong way to conduct a business. Those businesses that continue to knowingly operate on the wrong side of that line do so at their own risk."

BearShare, LimeWire, WinMX and eDonkey are among the companies that received the letters. Officials at the companies would not discuss the letters.