In yet another round in the industry’s battle against peer-to-peer file-sharing, a Philadelphia judge Friday (March 5) ordered the RIAA to file separate complaints against each of the 203 “John Doe” defendants it accused of copyright infringement last month.
Judge Clarence Newcomer ruled that the group should not be tried in a single lawsuit and ordered the plaintiffs to pay a full filing fee for each case — a total of $30,000. The suit, filed last month, accuses 203 customers of Philadelphia-based Internet service provider Comcast of illegally trading files via P2P services.
The move is in response to amicus briefs filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union asking that accused file-sharers be accorded “minimal due-process rights before subpoenas are authorized to identify them.”
The move should drastically slow things down for the RIAA, which is seeking quick settlements to create deterrents for illegal file-sharers, lawyers note. Meanwhile, the RIAA insists it will continue to seek group settlements.