Record labels must file individual lawsuits against suspected file sharers rather than lumping them together in a single suit, a federal judge in Florida ruled Thursday.
The Recording Industry Association of America has sued nearly 2,000 file swappers in jurisdictions around the country. In this lawsuit, the music trade group bundled 25 suspected file swappers who share the same Internet service provider, Bright House Networks, into one legal action.
With this ruling, the RIAA must refile the lawsuits individually, marking another setback in its campaign to sue swappers. Judge David Baker of the U.S. District Court in Orlando is the second judge to rule that the RIAA cannot group individuals together. Last month, a Philadelphia judge made a similar ruling.
“Beyond the circumstances that the defendants used the Fast Track peer-to-peer network and that the defendants access the Internet through Bright House, no other facts connect the defendants,” Baker wrote.