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RIAA shuts down Web sites

Rosen says litigation necessary to 'penetrate Internet culture'

WASHINGTON — Two Internet sites are out of business, at least temporarily, after the Recording Industry Assn. of America won federal court orders that shut down the sites for breaking copyright laws.

One of the sites, operated out of Seattle, Wash,, allegedly allowed visitors to download more than 1,000 songs without the permission of the copyright holders. Visitors to the Web site could download the material in near-CD-quality for replay over their computer’s speakers. A second site, based in Phoenix, Ariz., offered visitors a choice of about 50 songs.

Force of litigation

RIAA prexy Hilary Rosen said her group sought legal remedies reluctantly. “Unfortunately, it often takes the force of litigation to penetrate the current Internet culture,” Rosen said, adding that the current online culture is one where “it’s O.K. to steal creative works of others because there’s no apparent harm, or it’s OK to steal because you don’t like record labels, or it’s OK because you’re a fan promoting artists … or just because you won’t get caught.”

The RIAA agreed to settlements with three other sites in January. Under the deal, the sites agreed to pay $100,000 for each violation of copyright law if the sites were ever found to be in violation of the law again.