Global media publisher Bertelemann, an investor in the pioneering music file swapping company Napster, was sued in federal district court in New York by fellow music publishers, for $17 billion. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, details from the 18 page complaint "allege that Bertelsmann contributed to the wide-scale infringement of their copyrighted works by funding Napster, a now-defunct online file-swapping service that once teemed with pirated music." The story was also reported by ZDNet here. For a copy of the docket in this case, 03-CV-1093, Leiber, et al v. Bertelsmann, AG, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, Civil Docket, click here. Please be advised that you will have to update this docket to obtain the most current information available.
In related news, global market research company Ispos Reid issued a press release on their survey, "An Estimated 26 million Americans Have Burned Rather Than Bought Music." See also associated charts in PDF indicating file-sharing usage by age and gender, projected population of file-sharers, and prevalence of file-sharing usage by age.