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.