A peerless ruling: MPAA wins $110 mil in TorrentSpy suit


TorrentSpy bit the dust in March, shuttering its peer-to-peer file-sharing site, and now a federal judge has ordered the company to pay the MPAA $110 million for infringement of thousands of copyrighted works.

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

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

"The legal climate in the USA for copyright, privacy of search requests and links to torrent files in search results is simply too hostile," the message reads.

The MPAA 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 Valence and TorrentSpy principles Justin Bunnell and Wes Parker have filed for bankruptcy. (partialdiff)