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MPAA Defeats TorrentSpy
May 7, 2008
Thomas Mennecke
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A Los Angeles Federal court has rendered a $110 million judgment against Valence Media, the company which operates the now defunct TorrentSpy. This judgment represents the culmination of a lengthy decline for TorrentSpy, which was slowly strangled to death by the movie industry.

“This substantial money judgment sends a strong message about the illegality of these sites,” said Dan Glickman, Chairman and CEO of the MPAA. “The demise of TorrentSpy is a clear victory for the studios and demonstrates that such pirate sites will not be allowed to continue to operate without facing relentless litigation by copyright holders.”

Unlike many other BitTorrent websites such as The Pirate Bay or isoHunt, TorrentSpy was never quite able to shake off the MPAA's legal pursuit. Much like BitTorrent, Inc., TorrentSpy attempted many avenues of legitimacy. This included creating a program which allowed copyright holders to remove indexed torrents, and a policy of blocking US search requests. None of this seemed to matter, where in the US, the political climate is notoriously hostile to P2P development - the exception being BitTorrent, Inc.

According to the judgment posted on PACER, an injunction was also ordered against TorrentSpy. Interestingly, Valence Media can retain possession of the site, however is barred from indexing copyrighted works in the future.

"Defendant, and its officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and all those in active concert or participation with Defendant who receive actual notice of this Permanent Injunction shall immediately and permanently be enjoined from directly, indirectly, contributorily, or vicariously infringing in any manner any Copyrighted Works..."

Additionally, Judge Florence-Marie Cooper ruled that "Plaintiffs are awarded statutory damages of $30,00 per infringement pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 504(c), for each of the 3,699 infringements shown, for a total judgment in the amount of $110,970,000..."

But what's $970,000 between friends?

So comes to an end the BitTorrent site known as TorrentSpy. isoHunt, which is based in P2P friendlier Canada, is currently safe and operational. Although TorrentSpy ceased operations on March 24, 2008, today's ruling should close the chapter on this once successful BitTorrent indexing site.

Edit: To follow up, News.com is reporting that TorrentSpy will appeal the damages awarded to the MPAA.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Entertainment Industry :: MPAA
BitTorrent :: Trackers/Indexers

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