TorrentSpy to Appeal $110 Million Fine

May 8th, 2008 at 12:00 am


TorrentSpy already closed shop earlier this year citing that the US legal climate was "simply too hostile" for them to continue.  "Hostilities" came to an end last Monday when California Judge Florence-Marie Cooper  issued judgement and permanent injuction against TorrentSpy founders Justin Burnell, Forrest Parker and Valence Media LLC.

"The Court, having terminated this case as a sanction for Defendants’ misconduct and having entered default, now renders final judgment as to all claims of Plaintiffs against Defendant Valence Media LLC. It is therefore ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED that: Judgment shall be entered against Valence Media LLC (Defendant) for willful inducement of copyright infringement, contributory copyright infringement, and vicarious copyright infringement, pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §§ 501, et seq. It is further ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED that: Plaintiffs are awarded statutory damages of $30,00 per infringement pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 504(c), for each of the 3,699 infringements shown, for a total judgment in the amount of $110,970,000, and judgment shall be entered against Defendant in that amount. Plaintiffs are awarded their costs of court." 

More on the injunction can be found here

Where do you get $110 million?  That kind of fine is what Google, Microsoft or Yahoo could pay.  Valence Media LLC, whose flagship was TorrentSpy which did not actually earn a lot except a lot of fame and followers for their amazing torrent search, could not possibly pay $3000 for every of the 3699 movies’s rights they stole.

One thing left to do, appeal.  Ira Rothken, TorrentSpy’s attorney said, "The decision means absolutely nothing as it relates to other (BitTorrent cases). It ‘s issue was not decided on the merits. It’s obvious we are going to appeal."