The administrators of the now defunct Torrentspy site have been ordered to pay the Mpaa more than $110 million. The judge ordered damages for 3,699 cases of copyright infringement.
Torrentspy was a so-called torrent tracker, a site that assists users in using Bittorrent. Although the site itself contained no copyrighted material, the Mpaa found that Torrentspy was operating illegally, as the site facilitated the illegal distribution of movies and TV shows. In 2006 the Mpaa therefore filed a lawsuit against Valence Media, owner of the site. The film studios demanded damages and an end to the copyright infringement.
According to Torrentspy’s administrators, their site was comparable to a search engine like Google and was completely legal. This interesting point of law was not answered, however, because when it was revealed that the defendants had lost evidence in violation of a court order, they were found guilty on that basis.
The amount of compensation was determined this week. Judge Florence-Marie Cooper convict Torrentspy to pay $30,000 for each of the 3,699 copyright infringement cases identified in the lawsuit. This brought the total amount to $110,970,000. The judge also forbade the accused from ever assisting in any way with copyright infringement. The Mpaa spoke in a press release expressed his great satisfaction with the verdict. It is not yet known whether Torrentspy will appeal.