Serving up links to BitTorrent downloads of copyrighted material doesn't pay. According to the Associated Press, a Los Angeles, California court has found in favor of six major Hollywood movie studios in a case versus pirate website TorrentSpy.com. As part of the judgment, former TorrentSpy.com operator Valence Media will have to pay a hefty $111 million in damages to the plaintiffs—that's $30,000 for each one of 3,700 or so torrents for movies and TV shows to which the site linked.
Valence Media has been embroiled in legal troubles since February 2006, when the Motion Picture Association of America filed its initial copyright infringement lawsuit. The following year, News.com reported that the federal judge overseeing the case had "ruled against the BitTorrent indexing service TorrentSpy.com saying that its hiding and destruction of evidence made a fair trial impossible." TorrentSpy.com went down on March 24, and a notice on the now-empty site reads:
The AP says Valence Media's lawyers have filed a document in court asking for the judgement to be stayed. The lawyers claim the company is seeking bankruptcy protection in the United Kingdom.
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