Suit targets biggest post-Napster network

Adding a new challenge to their list of legal attacks, the record industry and Hollywood studios have joined forces to sue Music City, Kazaa and Grokster, which together form one of the most popular file-trading networks to spring up in Napster's wake.

The suit marks the fourth major legal action the copyright holders have filed in their attempt to restrain millions of people from trading copies of songs and movies online. So far they have been successful, shutting down Scour, stopping trades on Napster and putting smaller outfit Aimster on the financial ropes.

But the new lawsuit marks the first overseas defendants, as well as the first legal test of a new generation of technology, which may prove a harder beast to pen than have the previous file-swapping services. Unlike Napster, the file-swapping services sued Tuesday don't require a central company to create an index of downloadable files. The companies involved have said that even if they disappear, the network of file swapping can survive as people continue to distribute the software unofficially.

"We cannot sit idly by while these services continue to operate illegally, especially at a time when new legitimate services are being launched," said RIAA Chief Executive Hilary Rosen in a statement.

News source: CNet

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