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Firms' PC Networks Targeted in Piracy Fight

October 25, 2002|Jon Healey | Times Staff Writer

Continuing their battle against online piracy, the trade associations representing record companies, Hollywood studios, songwriters and music publishers are urging the country's largest corporations to prevent their computer networks from being used to make unauthorized copies through the Internet.

The groups announced plans Thursday to send a strongly worded letter to the chief executives of the 1,000 largest corporations, asking them to prevent their computer systems from being used to infringe copyrights through online file-sharing networks, such as Kazaa and Gnutella.

Promising to "aggressively enforce our rights," the groups warn the executives that "the use of your digital network to pirate music, movies and other copyrighted works ... subjects your employees and your company to significant legal liability."

The Recording Industry Assn. of America has gone after at least one company that used its corporate network to enable unauthorized copying by its employees. In April, the RIAA announced that Integrated Information Systems Inc. of Tempe, Ariz., which had dedicated a computer on its corporate network to file sharing, had agreed to pay $1 million to settle infringement claims.

The latest letter comes two weeks after the music and movie industries sent a similar missive to leaders of 2,000 colleges and universities, urging them to prevent their campus networks from supporting piracy.

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