Hollywood studios win judgments against pirate sites

Mumbai: The major Hollywood studios have been awarded multi-million dollar judgments against the illegal linking websites Showstash.com and Cinematube.net. A federal judge in Los Angeles issued a $2.7 million judgment against Showstash for the infringement of over a hundred popular copyrighted motion pictures and television shows.

On 7 May, a federal judge awarded the studios a similar judgment against Cinematube for $1.3 million. These judgments bookend another significant victory for the studios, which recently were awarded a $110 million judgment against TorrentSpy.com.

"Our goal is to stop this kind of blatant and illegal activity. These judgments indicate that the studios will not hesitate to vigorously pursue litigation against this type of site," said Worldwide Anti-Piracy for the Motion Picture Association of America executive vice president and director John G. Malcolm.

ShowStash and Cinematube infringed the studios’ copyrights by actively searching for, identifying, collecting, organizing, indexing, and posting on their websites links to illegal copies of motion pictures and television shows, which had been posted on third party websites, allowing Internet users to locate and view the content. The judgments prohibit the defendants from engaging in any other activity that would infringe the studios’ copyrighted works. The MPAA’s member companies filed lawsuits against ShowStash and Cinematube in July and September of 2007.

The worldwide motion picture industry, including foreign and domestic producers, distributors, theaters, video stores and pay-per-view operators lose more than $18 billion annually as a result of movie theft. More than $7 billion in losses are attributed to illegal Internet distributions, while $11 billion is the result of illegal copying and bootlegging.