Studios Settle Copyright Suit Against Web-Site Operator

R.A. Hettinga rah at
Fri Feb 11 12:31:42 PST 2005


The Wall Street Journal

      February 11, 2005 2:21 p.m. EST


Studios Settle Copyright Suit
 Against Web-Site Operator

Associated Press
February 11, 2005 2:21 p.m.

LOS ANGELES -- Hollywood movie studios have settled a copyright lawsuit
against a Web site operator they say had helped people find pirated copies
of films for download.

The Web site,, hosted "torrents," or file markers used by
online file-swapping programs like BitTorrent to comb the Internet for
other computer users sharing a given file.

Edward Webber, who ran the site, agreed to pay a "substantial" fine to
settle the lawsuit and agreed to turn over copies of his computer server
logs and data, the Motion Picture Association of America said Thursday.
Those records might prove to be even more valuable to the trade group as a
way to ferret out individual computer users who had visited the site, which
had more than 750,000 registered users downloading thousands of files, said
John Malcolm, head of the MPAA's antipiracy division.

The MPAA also took over the domain name and posted a
warning against trading movie files online with the slogan "You can click,
but you can't hide."

The settlement is the first announced by the MPAA following an unspecified
number of lawsuits filed by Hollywood studios in December against operators
of more than 100 computer servers in the United States and Europe.

The MPAA also announced a second round of litigation against U.S. sites
that host indexes for BitTorrent, eDonkey and DirectConnect and against
individual computer users, but Mr. Malcolm declined to identify who the
defendants are or how many. Calls to Mr. Webber's attorney weren't
immediately returned Friday.

R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

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