File-Sharing Network Users Are Told to Stop

From Associated Press

The Recording Industry Assn. of America said it has sent cease-and-desist letters to five users of online file-sharing networks, demanding that they stop offering free music for others to download.

A U.S. appeals court ruling earlier this month compelled Verizon Communications Inc. to give the RIAA the names of four subscribers accused of violating copyrights by offering songs on file-sharing networks. The fifth name was supplied by EarthLink Inc., which had balked at complying with an RIAA subpoena until the appeals court rejected Verizon’s request for a delay.

A spokesman for the RIAA declined to identify the subscribers or release copies of the letters.

Verizon and EarthLink resisted handing over the subscribers’ names, citing privacy concerns. A federal judge in Washington sided with the RIAA, although the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit was still reviewing the case.