In recent weeks, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports music companies like Warner Bros., Sony Music, BMG Music, Capital Re-cords, Elektra and Motown have “blitzed U.S. courthouses with lawsuits against people they accuse of online piracy. Cases have been filed against 744 users of Kazaa, eDonkey, Limewire, Grokster and other file-sharing platforms.”

The lawsuits now are against individuals who have downloaded music as opposed to the larger players who produce or host the peer-to-peer file-sharing programs. It’s the latter group the music industry has battled for years.

As the Enquirer reports, the music industry “suffered a setback Aug. 19 when a federal appeals court in San Francisco upheld a lower court ruling that the file-sharing programs Grokster and Morpheus were merely tools, not buffet tables for free music.” In addition “Sharman Networks, the Australian company that distributes Kazaa, said it would ask the courts to declare its product a legal one as well.”

But the California case did not interfere with the music industry’s right to go after people who use those programs for wrongful ends. “That court affirmed that the underlying activity of anyone uploading or downloading works without the permission of the creator is engaging in illegal activity,” said Jonathan Lamy, an RIAA spokesman.

The wild thing is that parents, the owners of the computers on which the music was downloaded, are going to find themselves on the receiving end of a lawsuit brought by huge corporations. Though the music industry is seeking unspecified dollar damages in their lawsuits, the industry has said it is willing to settle with the parents. Not sure what other choice the parents have when facing lawyers from the likes of Sony and Warner Bros.

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Photo of Philip P. Mann Philip P. Mann

Philip P. Mann is a trial lawyer with over twenty years experience litigating patent, trademark, trade secret, and other intellectual property matters throughout the country.
Mann’s trial work has taken him to various federal and state courts where he’s tried both cases to…

Philip P. Mann is a trial lawyer with over twenty years experience litigating patent, trademark, trade secret, and other intellectual property matters throughout the country.
Mann’s trial work has taken him to various federal and state courts where he’s tried both cases to the court (a judge) as well as before juries. In addition to trial court work, Mann has performed appellate work before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Mann began his legal career in Chicago and Milwaukee before heading to Seattle where some of America’s most innovative companies were developing new technologies at breakneck speed. Before founding his own firm, he was a member of the Seattle Intellectual Property Law Firm, Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness.
Mann is an “AV” rated lawyer by Martindale Hubbell, indicative that he has reached the height of professional excellence and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity.
He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois (Urbana) and received his law degree from the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri. He is admitted to practice in the States of Illinois and Washington, as well as before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and in various courts around the country.