RIAA Tries to Combat P2P Networks

Several of the most popular peer-to-peer file sharing networks are being asked to take action against users who are participating in sharing copyrighted materials, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The Recording Industry Association of America sent cease and desist letters to the companies controlling programs such as LimeWire, WinMX and BearShare, asking them to remove RIAA member files from their services.

None of the targeted companies were commenting on how they would respond, however several have added features to try and discourage the downloading of illicit files.

For example, the newest version of LimeWire now pops up a warning if it believes the file may not be legal or the company does not have a license for the file requested. But it appears such actions are not sufficient for the RIAA.

"Companies situated similarly to Grokster have been given ample opportunity to do the right thing," a RIAA spokesperson said, saying those who don't comply "do so at their own risk."

The RIAA has worked with two companies, iMesh and Mashboxx, to create legal P2P offerings. But it's not clear if such services will ever take off, as P2P users often cite the breadth of content available as a reason to continue downloading despite legal concerns.

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