MPAA and CEO Dan Glickman announced today that the first round of defendants will be named and served Wednesday.
"These people are Internet thieves and we will not stand by while they steal millions of dollars of copyrighted material with no regard for the law," said Glickman. "With these lawsuits, which reach from Honolulu, Hawaii to Kokomo, Indiana our message to these thieves is clear ? you are not anonymous and you will be held responsible: You can click but you cannot hide."
Additionally, the MPAA today announced several lawsuits against John Does accused of Internet theft on college campuses which is an emerging problem due to the availability of advanced shared networks like Internet 2 (i2hub).
"Digital file sharing is the way of the future and we want to help educate students about the legal ways to get our products on-line through services like Ruckus and Cdigix, CinemaNow and Movielink."
Last November, the MPAA announced that in conjunction with its members and other film studios, it was expanding its campaign against film piracy. The major movie studios filed lawsuits against individuals as end-users who have illegally downloaded or traded movies via the Internet. Since then, a number of those individuals have been contacted and asked to settle with the member companies. Those who chose not to settle are now being named in individual lawsuits filed around the country.*
The lawsuits and public identification of individual people illegally downloading and trading movies on-line signal a dramatic escalation in the motion picture industry's campaign to fight film piracy and raise awareness about the damaging phenomenon of illegal file-swapping.
A federal interagency report published in 2004, estimated that counterfeit and pirated goods, including those of copyrighted works, cost the American economy $250 billion a year. In response to the report, the U.S. Justice Department and other federal counterfeit goods. Glickman made the announcement today at the American Film Institute during the Franco-American Anti-Piracy seminar that was held as a part of the annual City of Angels, City of Lights Film Festival.
"What if there were no movies?" Glickman asked the crowd. "Movies are a source of entertainment and learning about life, love and adventure and we will not let these thieves take that away from us."