TorrentSpy hit with $111 million fine for copyright violation
BitTorrent tracker TorrentSpy may have shut down last month, but that wasn't enough to prevent a federal judge from slapping the site with a $111 million fine yesterday. While BitTorrent didn't host any copyrighted materials on their own servers, the service did make it easy for users to illegally trade files. And the judge ruled that TorrentSpy's operators should pay $30,000 for each of the 3,699 instances of copyright infringement shown in the case.
Anyone familiar with sites like TorrentSpy knows that it's possible the site got off easy, as there were probably far more than 3699 copyrighted files made available through the site. On the other hand, TorrentSpy has already declared bankrupty and is incapable of paying the high fine. If the site hadn't already shut down, this ruling would most certainly have forced it to do so. A lawyer for TorrentSpy says the company plans to appeal.
This case was the first major test of the legality of BitTorrent sites in the US. Something tells us it won't be the last.