MPAA Slaps P2P Networks with Lawsuits and Arrests

The Motion Picture Association of America continued its assault on filesharing, joining with police in Europe and the United States to try to stopdefendants that John Malcolm, the MPAA’s director of worldwide antipiracyoperations, called “parasites, leeching off the creativity of others.”

Monday, a series of raids around Europe shut down several peer-to-peer (P2P)sites. Finnish police shutdown a BitTorrent site run from a residence andseized servers and PCs, according to Finnish newspaper reports.

In France,the BitTorrent site Youceff Torrents was shut down by French police. Twofile-sharing eDonkey sites, called ShareConnector and Releases4U, wereraided in the Netherlands.

The MPAA, in a press release, also said it was working to shut downDirectConnect.

Gunning for Big Targets

BitTorrent is the fastest-growing file-sharing system; more data istransferred across the Web on its network than on any other. It allows forthe sharing of large files, such as movies or computer games, and has thecapacity to allow multiple users to access the same file simultaneouslywithout slowing down the process.

In addition, BitTorrent does not have acentralized network, but instead points downloaders to sites that keep trackof where files are stored and available. eDonkey is the most popularfile-sharing network.

Lawsuits filed by the MPAA in the U.S. and UK againstBitTorrent target those who run the servers on the network. The suit claimsthat the defendants know what is stored on the servers and are, therefore,at fault for allowing the copyright-protected material to be shared.

TheMPAA said it has its sights set on about 100 people, including thosearrested in the criminal raids in Europe.

According to the MPAA, the film industry loses $3.5 billion a year onpiracy, an amount it said did not include losses due to file-sharing.

Fewer Movie Downloaders

The moves are similar to those taken by the Recording Industry Associationof America (RIAA) against music file-sharing, but the threat to the movieindustry is not as severe, John Barrett, Parks Associate director ofresearch, told TechNewsWorld.

“Hollywood is better off because video piracy is not as prevalent,” Barrettsaid.”There are a lot of disincentives that there aren’t for music,” he said.Those include the quality of videos online, the amount of time it takes todownload them and the fact that, as he put it, “after all that, you’re stillwatching a movie on your computer.”

Another factor making online file-sharing less of a problem for the movieindustry is that it has a much more diverse revenue model.In addition to the sale of movie tickets, money comes in from co-brandingdeals, merchandising, DVD sales and fees from cable TV networks.

1 Comment

  • I’ve purchased more dvd’s sine someone i know is able to get them for me to pre-view than i ever have before i wasn’t able to get those free pre-views and i also still go to the theatres as well.
    So, Who is really getting hurt here. It’s obviously not the actors or musicians, it’s the ceo’s and there friends who make money off the backs of the actual artists & actors.
    That is just my opinion and i shall stop bothering to buy any more things and just rent it at the local video store and forget buying them for myself. I currently own over 300 dvd’s at the moment and that’s about all i’m gonna bother to purchase any longer.

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