MPAA sues six BitTorrent sites linking to TV shows

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Sunday, May 15, 2005

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is suing six websites for hosting BitTorrent links to TV programs.

The MPAA is a movie industry trade group representing most U.S. studios. The MPAA claims that these sites allow users of BitTorrent software to find and download illegal copies of various TV programmes.

Five of the sites sued are registered in the U.S., and the sixth site is registered in Spain. The sites sued are Shuntv.net, Zonatracker.com, Btefnet.net, Scifi-classics.net, Cddvdheaven.co.uk, and Bragginrights.biz.

According to research by Envisional, recent surveys report downloads of TV programmes are up by 150% in a year. Most of the downloads, 70%, used BitTorrent sites. With the increasing ubiquity of broadband Internet access, popular television shows, which are smaller downloads than movies, often appear within hours of airing on TV.

The MPAA has filed over 100 lawsuits since December against operators of BitTorrent sites. The MPAA has also sued individuals, but has not reported how many.

MPAA CEO Dan Glickman told the BBC, "Since we began shutting these sites down, the time that it takes to download a file on BitTorrent has increased exponentially, which means the experience of downloading copyrighted films and TV shows is not what it used to be. We intend to make it even worse. Protecting the television industry is essential."

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