The RIAA today (Jan. 21) announced that it has filed a new round of copyright-infringement suits against 532 individual consumers who have allegedly distributed copyrighted music over peer-to-peer net

The RIAA today (Jan. 21) announced that it has filed a new round of copyright-infringement suits against 532 individual consumers who have allegedly distributed copyrighted music over peer-to-peer networks.

The trade group says the suits were filed using the "John Doe" process, meaning the defendants' names are not known. Defendants are identified by their Internet Protocol addresses. The RIAA says that under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, once a "John Doe" suit is filed, the group can subpoena the information necessary to identify the defendant by name. After learning that identity, the RIAA says, it will offer the defendant the opportunity to settle the case before proceeding further with the litigation.

"Our campaign against illegal file sharers is not missing a beat," says RIAA president Cary Sherman. "The message to illegal file sharers should be as clear as ever -- we can and will continue to bring lawsuits on a regular basis against those who illegally distribute copyrighted music."