Downloading Music

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A second federal appeals court has told the recording industry it can't force Internet providers to identify music downloaders suspected of illegally distributing songs.

The Recording Industry Association of America says the ruling won't stop it from suing thousands of people it believes illegally share music.

The industry has filed suits nationwide against unnamed defendants, based on their Internet addresses, then worked through the courts to learn their names. That process is more complicated and expensive than having the Internet providers reveal the names.

The latest ruling says Charter Communications, a major Internet provider, isn't responsible for 93 of its customers allegedly trading 100,000 copyrighted music files across the Internet. The ruling, by a U.S. appeals court panel in St. Louis, affirms an earlier decision by another court.