Music Industry Rolls out 762 More File Sharing Lawsuits

The music industry filed copyright infringement lawsuits Thursday against 762 computer users, including defendants at 26 universities around the country.

The lawsuits were the latest filed by recording companies against suspected online music file-swappers.

The new filings bring the total number of people sued to more than 4,000 since the Recording Industry Association of America began its legal campaign against individual computer users a year ago.

As in the previous complaints, the latest lawsuits were brought against unnamed "John Doe" defendants, identified only by their computer Internet protocol addresses.

The tactic allows the plaintiffs to seek subpoenas requiring Internet access providers to reveal the names of their customers.

Thursday's complaints included 32 people who the RIAA claims used university computer networks to distribute copyrighted recordings on unauthorized peer-to-peer services, including eDonkey, Kazaa and LimeWire.

The individual colleges and universities were not named as defendants.

Students in the lawsuits attend such schools as Columbia, Kent State, New York University, Stanford, University of Connecticut and Michigan State University.

The RIAA said the lawsuits against students were aimed in part at highlighting some of the recent efforts schools have made to offer legal music services as an alternative to peer-to-peer networks.

"Students get the benefit of high-quality, legal music while schools get to spend less time worrying about their students getting into trouble," RIAA President Cary Sherman said in a statement.

The recording industry blames lagging music sales in recent years on the rise of online music piracy.

While some surveys have shown the number of people engaging in file-sharing has declined since the RIAA began its legal assault, other data show millions continue to share music, movies and software online.