Studios win $110 million in TorrentSpy suit

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - TorrentSpy bit the dust only weeks ago, shuttering its peer-to-peer file-sharing site. Now a federal judge has ordered the company to pay the Motion Picture Association of America $110 million for infringement of thousands of copyrighted film and TV shows.

In a four-page final ruling issued Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Florence-Marie Cooper entered the multimillion-dollar judgment against TorrentSpy parent company Valence Media for willfully inducing, contributing and vicariously allowing copyright infringement on its Web site.

Cooper also issued a permanent injunction against the Web site, which shut down March 24.

The MPAA, which represents the Hollywood studios, filed suit against TorrentSpy in February 2006, claiming that the site’s torrent files were illegally uploaded.

“This substantial money judgment sends a strong message about the illegality of these sites,” MPAA chairman and CEO Dan Glickman said. “The demise of TorrentSpy is a clear victory for the studios.”

Whether the MPAA will collect the $110 million from TorrentSpy remains to be seen. Court records show that Valence and TorrentSpy principles Justin Bunnell and Wes Parker have filed for bankruptcy.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter