The RIAA has filed a new round of lawsuits against suspected users of illegal peer-to-peer file-sharing services, including users of networks at 21 U.S. universities.

The RIAA has filed a new round of lawsuits against suspected users of illegal peer-to-peer file-sharing services, including users of networks at 21 U.S. universities.

The bundled suits, filed today (March 23) using the "John Doe" process, were brought against 443 users of commercial ISPs in California, Colorado, Missouri, Texas and Virginia, as well as 89 individuals using university networks in Arizona, California, Colorado, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin.

Including today's suits, 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.

A John Doe suit must be filed with a judge, who then determines whether a subpoena should be issued. Once a John Doe suit has been approved by a judge, the record-label plaintiffs can subpoena the information necessary to identify the defendant by name. Internet service providers can also ask a judge to review the information provided.