Man fined $1.5 million in damages for sharing 10 porn movies

By on November 2, 2012, 4:30 PM

A Virginia man, Kywan Fisher, who was accused of sharing 10 adult movies via BitTorrent is being asked by an Illinois Federal court to pony up a whopping $1,500,000 in damages. The stiff judgment is the largest amount ever awarded in a BitTorrent copyright case, reports Torrent Freak.

It's worth noting this lawsuit is a little bit different than your typical illegal file-sharing lawsuit, however. The two main differences -- the videos being watermarked and Fisher now showing up for trial -- made this a fairly open and shut case.

Watermarking is the practice of embedding something uniquely identifiable inside a product or other work. As it turns out, every Flava Works subscriber has a unique code assigned to them. When one of those subscribers downloads a video from the website, that unique code is injected into the file. If the user shares that file, the watermark and will continue to travel with the video. This process allowed Flava Works to identify the video's origin and, in this case, they knew the string "xvyynuxl" was linked to Fisher's account.

The second reason for the large settlement is the fact Fisher simply didn't show up to defend himself. After considering Flava Works' uncontested evidence and Fisher's apparent, willful infringement, Judge John Lee issued the $1.5 million judgment -- the largest amount ever awarded in a BitTorrent piracy case.

The 10 videos Fisher was accused of downloading were "infringed or downloaded" at least 3,449 times by others, according to Flava Works. When you take this into account and crunch the numbers, the decision weighs in at around $434.90 in damages per upload.

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