Iphtashu Fitz writes "The Associated Press recently reviewed many of the copyright infringement lawsuits that the RIAA filed against individuals charged with illegally sharing songs on P2P networks. According to the article over 800 of the targeted individuals have settled for approx. $3000 in fines. One man in California had to refinance his house to pay his $11,000 settlement. Many of the defendants are unwilling to face the possibility of even higher fines by fighting the suits in court despite the fact that it could resolve important questions about copyrights and the industry's methods for tracing illegal downloads. It seems that even some of the judges presiding over these cases question the RIAA's tactics. 'I've never had a situation like this before, where there are powerful plaintiffs and powerful lawyers on one side and then a whole slew of ordinary folks on the other side,' said U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner, who blocked the movement of a number of these cases in her courtroom for months. She wanted 'to make sure that no one, frankly, is being ground up.'"
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