A California federal judge ordered TorrentSpy to pay nearly $111 million in damages for infringing the copyright of thousands of films and TV shows through its BitTorrent search engine.
U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper issued a permanent injunction against TorrentSpy, ordering the site to pay $30,000 per copyright infringement--for 3,699 films and shows (all in all about $110,970,000).
"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," MPAA CEO Dan Glickman said in a statement.
TorrentSpy, one of the most popular indexes of BitTorrent files before it shut down in March after a two-year copyright battle with the Motion Picture Association of America, plans to appeal the decision.
"What is really going on here is a Hollywood public-relations stunt," said TorrentSpy attorney Ira Rothken. "The reason for the size of the judgment was so a bunch of news organizations would write that 'a $100 million judgment was issued against a bunch of pirates' when, in fact, it was declared against a company with no appreciable assets that has already declared bankruptcy."
"The decision means absolutely nothing as it relates to other (BitTorrent cases)," Rothken added. "It issue was not decided on the merits. It's obvious we are going to appeal."