The Riaa (Recording Industry of America) has filed 41 new lawsuits against internet users accused of swapping music illegally through P2P (peer-to-peer) sites.

The group, which represents music labels and record companies, is set to warn a further 90 users who may also face legal action.

This is the third wave of lawsuits brought by the industry giant since September, with action taken against almost 400 internet users. Financial settlements have been reached with 220 offenders so far; an additional 1,000 users have agreed to cease downloading illegal music under the group's Clean Slate programme which allows file swappers to avoid legal action on the proviso they delete existing downloaded files from their PCs and cease using P2P networks.

If found guilty, defendants could be forced to pay up to $150,000 (around £87,000) in damages under copyright law.

Legal battles to extract file swappers' details from several ISPs continue.

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