A second federal judge has denied the recording industry's attempts to combine multiple lawsuits against individuals accused of illegally trading music over the Internet.

A second federal judge has denied the recording industry's attempts to combine multiple lawsuits against individuals accused of illegally trading music over the Internet.

Judge David Baker of the U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Florida (Orlando) ruled Thursday (April 1) that the RIAA could not force Internet service provider Bright House Networks to reveal the identities of 25 "John Doe" defendants the industry body sued in February.

The Orlando court is the second to deny the RIAA's "bundling" motion, which seeks to speed the discovery process by forcing ISPs to reveal the names of multiple customers accused of file-trading. In early March, a Philadelphia federal court ordered the RIAA to file separate complaints against each unidentified defendant. A Washington, D.C., federal court, however, later granted the RIAA's motion for expedited discovery using the "John Doe" subpoenas. Judge Clarence C. Newcomer of the District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania has subsequently denied the RIAA reconsideration of his March ruling to forbid bundling.

To date, the RIAA has filed 1,977 lawsuits in its campaign against individuals suspected of illegally trading music files over the Internet. Of those, 1,595 have been filed this year using the "John Doe" process to sue defendants whose names are not known. The latest round, brought March 23, included users of networks at 21 U.S. universities.