Music trade group sues 16 users of UC Davis network

The Recording Industry of America has sued 16 users of the UC Davis computer network, claiming they violated copyrights by illegally sharing music online, The California Aggie reported Thursday.

The "John Doe" lawsuits don't say who's being sued--so far, the trade group only has the computer addresses of the machines involved in the file-sharing--but the group can subpoena UC Davis to learn who those addresses belong to.

The lawsuits are part of an ongoing industry campaign to discourage unauthorized free file-sharing of music. This week the RIAA also sent out its latest batch of pre-litigation settlement offers to other computer users it accuses of stealing music online. It sent 503 letters to 58 colleges and universities; according to the RIAA press release, UC Davis isn't on the list this time.

But the campus received, and forwarded, 34 pre-litigation letters from the trade group in June. Recipients who didn't settle have now been sued.

The Davis Enterprise wrote about the lawsuits involving UC Davis network users last week.

The RIAA estimates that it has sent 2,926 pre-lawsuit settlement letters to U.S. universities since it launched its "education and deterrence campaign" in February.