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MPAA Claims Anti-Piracy Victory

19 Dec, 2007 By: Chris Tribbey

The studios are notching a mark in the win column in the war against Internet piracy, following a December court ruling against BitTorrent service TorrentSpy.com.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) first sued the Web site in February 2006, alleging the site was purposefully promoting copyright infringement, by allowing users to download shared, copyright-protected files from other users.

The ruling by a Los Angeles judge terminated the case, finding TorrentSpy liable for copyright infringement. The founder of the site told The Associated Press his company will appeal the ruling. The case was terminated in part because of “[TorrentSpy's] brazen, continuous and systematic destruction of evidence and subversion of the judicial process,” according to an MPAA statement.

Earlier in the case, TorrentSpy had been fined $30,000 for violating court orders, according to news reports. TorrentSpy was accused of deleting evidence, including forum postings, user IP addresses and directories referencing copyrighted work.

“The court's decision is a significant victory for MPAA member companies and sends a potent message to future defendants that this egregious behavior will not be tolerated by the judicial system,” said John Malcolm, EVP and director of worldwide antipiracy operations for the MPAA.

The MPAA estimates that content owners lose $18 billion a year to piracy, $7 billion of that to Internet piracy.

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