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Movie studios join attack on Pirate Bay

updated 01:30 pm EDT, Thu May 8, 2008

Film studios v. Pirate Bay

Movie studios are the latest group to launch a legal assault on Swedish BitTorrent site The Pirate Bay, filings indicate. The Motion Picture Association, an international extension of the MPAA, has filed a 93kr million ($15.4 million) lawsuit against Pirate Bay, which it accuses of hosting illegal torrent trackers for movies such as The Pink Panther and Syriana, as well as 13 episodes of the TV show Prison Break. Damages are said to amount to between 222 and 261kr ($37 and $43) per movie, and 415kr ($68) for each Prison Break episode.

The MPA's lawfirm, MAQS, says that the damages are based on the lack of copy protection on the files, and their release before legal downloads or DVDs were available. The firm has also incorporated interest, which may continue to grow before a settlement or verdict is rendered.

Pirate Bay is also facing legal action from record labels, among them EMI, Sony BMG and Universal. The site's owners have generally been dismissive of charges however, as it has increasingly shifted hosting to "safe harbor" countries, and in any case it only provides tracking files rather than the pirated material itself.

By Electronista Staff


  1. vasic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005


    Loopholes, loopholes...

    The site's name eliminates any doubt. The owners of the site generate revenue (and profit) through the sale of advertising, by offering access to content that does not belong to them. Providing torrent trackers for download, as opposed to hosting the files themselves, will only make for a lot of lawyers arguing over semantics. If Napster was shut down for only providing registration services for users who were exchanging their files on their own, nothing is different here.

    Moving to jurisdictions where law couldn't touch them could potentially prolong their lives (I hear demonoid is back online). Eventually, the powerful lobbies of MPAA/RIAA will eventually get their way.

    In developed world, many people really want to pay for a simple download (such as iTunes). In the developing world, however, all the Pirate Bays and Demonoids of the world are preparing new armies of audience, ready to be promoted into paying customers. Didn't Microsoft say they don't mind pirated Windows in the 3rd world, as long as they eventually "get them" a few years later?

  1. dagamer34

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2007



    They should sue Google then since search for anything with a "*.torrent" attached will get you your download. But Google has fancy lawyers, see?

    They are only picking the battles they can bully themselves to win, but it's unlikely that it'll be enough.

  1. eldarkus

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2004


    sad but true...

    Napster maintained lists of systems and all files. Not a true P2P system.

    this is the exact same as the drug problem. Pirate Bay is the big dealer for now. When you cut it's head off, 2 more will sprout in it's place. Defeat one technology, 4 new ones will spring up. there is a demand for drugs, so there will always be drug dealers. Exact same goes for pirated material, be it music, movies, TV, apps, games, etc...

    Sad but true.

    FYI: the war on drugs in the US has been going on for 35-40 year. in 2005 alone, we spent $12 billion fighting the war.

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006


    re: trackpad

    dmsimmer and t*** eater,

    take a look at trackpads from various Dells. None of them are in the same place compared to the keyboard or to the qwerty keys.

  1. Athens

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: Jan 2003


    One solution

    Make the price of content that which the majorty of people will buy, and stop spending money and time trying to stop pirates as you cant stop it. Its pure waste. Those that refuse to pay refuse to pay while others refuse to pay at current prices or restrictions.

  1. discotronic

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Oct 2003


    re: one solution

    I couldn't agree more. Why would I want to spend $1.99 (or more) for a TV show that I can TiVo for free and transfer into whatever format that I want?

    Give me the content for a fair price and I will buy it. More than anything it will save me from having to go through the trouble of doing the conversion myself. For me it would be worth spending $0.99 to download instead of going through all the trouble. Anything more than that and I don't even consider it.

    A comment about the article....

    Damages are said to amount to between 222 and 261kr ($37 and $43) per movie, and 415kr ($68) for each Prison Break episode.

    I find the above statement to be absolute BS. Legal considerations aside, people who download these things are not going to pay for them in the first place. So are they really losing that kind of money? I don't think so. Good luck proving it.

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    re: one solution

    Legal considerations aside, people who download these things are not going to pay for them in the first place.

    Well, not exactly. Some portion of them would have bought the pirated material, some would not. It's difficult to determine exactly that proportion.

    The IP holders like to pretend that each pirated title is lost revenue. That's BS. It's also BS that none of the downloaders would never have bought the material anyway.

    Which side wins the argument, then? The one who can afford more and better attorneys...

  1. godrifle

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006


    Now that's a good....


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