In a major win for Hollywood studios, operators of the now defunct TorrentSpy tracker have been ordered to pay some $111 million in damages
for facilitating illegal downloads of copyrighted movies and television shows – that is $30,000 in damages for each of the nearly 3,700 files in the MPAA’s complaint.
TorrentSpy was sued by the MPAA in February 2006, and though it fought back with a countersuit of its own three months later, the site was finally forced to shut down on March 2008 after losing its battle in court. TorrentSpy didn’t actually lose in the merits, but the judgment was defaulted against the tracker after it “willingly and systematically” destroyed evidence such as directories containing copyrighted works and users’ IP addresses, claiming it was protecting users’ privacy. This $111 million judgment certainly sends a strong message to other sites being targeted by the MPAA who may now think twice about settling out of court.