The flood of anticipated "John Doe" lawsuits against individuals for illegal file trading has begun.
The Recording Industry Association of America, emboldened by the Supreme Court's Grokster decision Monday, has filed suit against 784 "illegal file sharers" using Grokster, Kazaa and Limewire peer-to-peer services.
“On Monday, the Supreme Court provided a real shot in the arm to legitimate online music services and unanimously injected moral clarity into this debate,” said RIAA Chairman Mitch Bainwol.
The suits were filed in courts including Californian, New York, and Washington, D.C.
To try to take some of the sting out of a massive legal assault on kids and others, at the same time, Music United, a coalition of recording industry companies, launched an education campaign "to help parents understand how to keep their children safe and legal when downloading music on the Internet."
It also launched an outdoor ad campaign, “Feed a Musician, Download Legally,” in 11 cities.
Motion Picture Association of America Executive VP John Feehery said that organization was "reviewing its options," but had not ruled out a similar effort.
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that companies like Grokster and Limeware could be liable for inducing copyright violations by illegal downloaders, remanding a case against Grokster and Streamcast to a trail court to determine whether they had induced the illegal conduct and strongly suggesting they had.