The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has won $110 million damages against TorrentSpy, a site that pointed to where TV programmes and films could be downloaded without them being paid for.
TorrentSpy didn’t actually host the videos, as these were distributed on torrents, but enabled people to get to downloaded them.
Beyond this considerable fine, the U.S. District Court Judge, Florence-Marie Cooper, also issued a permanent injunction prohibiting TorrentSpy from, “further infringing any of the studios’ copyrighted works.”
The action — wilful inducement of copyright infringement, contributory infringement and vicarious copyright infringement — and judgement, were taken against the operators of TorrentSpy, Valence Media.
It’s understood that Justin Bunnell and Wes Parker, the principles of Valence Media have filed for bankruptcy.
The MPAA action started in February 2006 when they filled their lawsuit and TorrentSpy closed itself down on 24 March this year, replacing the site with a message explaining their reasons (still visible at the time of writing).
Before this, it was revealed that part of the legal action enabled the MPAA to retrieve the TorrentSpy logs, showing which IP addresses had connected to which torrent to download video content – thus creating a link between individuals and the video that they downloaded.