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MPAA Files Antipiracy Lawsuits

17 Nov, 2004 By: Lyndsey Shinoda

The Motion Picture Association of America Tuesday filed its first wave of lawsuits against people they allege are offering pirated copies of films using Internet-based peer-to-peer file-sharing programs, according to The Associated Press.

The MPAA, representing seven major movie studios, did not say how many defendants were sued or where they were filed. Lawsuits are understood to be filed in federal courts in St. Louis, Denver, New York, Philadelphia and other areas with large concentrations of high-speed Internet users.

The lawsuits seek injunctions against the defendants. The copyright law allows for penalties of up to $30,000 for each motion picture traded over the Web, and up to $150,000 if infringement is proved to be willful, The AP said.

Some of the pirated films allegedly available include Warner Bros.' Troy, Columbia Pictures' Spider-Man 2, and Disney's Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.

As part of a larger antipiracy movement, the MPAA said it would soon make available a computer program that finds movie and music files on a user's computer in addition to any file-sharing programs.

The MPAA is also working with the Video Software Dealers Association to put educational materials containing antipiracy ads in more than 10,000 video stores across the country.

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