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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 September, 2003, 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK
Grandmother piracy lawsuit dropped
Music download
The RIAA has filed 261 lawsuits against people it accuses of song-swapping
The US recording industry has withdrawn a lawsuits against a 66-year-old woman accused of downloading rap records using the internet.

The Recording Industry of America (RIAA) admitted it may have been a case of mistaken identity.

Sarah Seabury Ward said she and her husband only used the internet to e-mail their family and did not have the software to download music.

The RIAA said it was withdrawing the lawsuit as a "gesture of good faith".

But it said it would continue to investigate her case and still had the option of refiling a lawsuit against her.

Ms Seabury Ward was accused of illegally downloading and sharing more than 2,000 songs online, including I'm a Thug by Trick Daddy.

She was represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a non-profit organisation which says it aims to protect "digital rights",


EFF lawyer Cindy Cohn said the family could not have downloaded music from the file-sharing sercice Kazaa because they used a Macintosh computer.

Ms Seabury Ward was one of 261 people sued by the RIAA as it attempts to crack down on internet music piracy.

RIAA spokeswoman Amy Weiss said the organisation still believed it had traced the alleged illegal actions to the right internet address and account but that there may have been confusion about who it belonged to.

She added that this was the only case the RIAA had withdrawn.

Earlier, the mother of 12-year-old Briana LaHara of New York paid $2,000 (1,257) to settle her daughter's lawsuit, but the news that the RIAA had targeted such a young person prompted a wave of criticism.

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