Thursday, May 08, 2008
TorrentSpy Loses $111 Million Copyright Infringement Lawsuit
In a stunning turn, TorrentSpy has lost a copyright infringement lawsuit brought against it by six Hollywood movie studios. Once the most popular BitTorrent site in the world, TorrentSpy, which shut down in March, now finds itself facing a $111 million judgment.
The owner of TorrentSpy, Justin Bunnell's Valence Media, was fined the maximum penalty of $30,000 for each of the 3,700 movies and television shows that users were able to download through the site. It is now initiating bankruptcy proceedings in Britain.
In August 2007, TorrentSpy started banning all US users because of privacy fears over handing over user data, but that wasn't enough. Apparently, TorrentSpy didn't lose the current case on the merits, but because it didn't provide internal records to the court.
With the success of this judgment in hand, will other popular BitTorrent sites start shutting down in hopes of avoiding a similar fate? More importantly, what are highly popular and highly visible sites like Mininova and Isohunt going to do?