Hollywood lawsuits to target illegal file sharing

The trade group that represents Hollywood's major motion picture studios is expected to announce Thursday that it intends to file as many as 230 lawsuits in coming weeks against individuals who have illegally shared copyrighted movie files over the Internet, according to two people involved in the proceedings.

It would be the first time that the Motion Picture Association of America, which represents the major studios, including Warner Brothers Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Paramount Pictures, has sued individuals for sharing files, one of the people said. Potential targets of the lawsuits have not received warnings, the people said.

Some studios hope to settle the disputes before they become public. By putting Internet users on notice that they face fines or other stiff penalties for offering movies for others to download, the industry hopes to thwart the same problems that plagued the recording industry three years ago when executives did not respond quickly enough to the threat of piracy.

News source: C|Net News.com

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