A federal court in Illinois has handed down the largest ever damages award in a BitTorrent case. In a default judgment defendant Kywan Fisher from Hampton, Virginia is ordered to pay $1,500,000 to adult entertainment company Flava Works for sharing 10 of their movies on BitTorrent. The huge total was reached through penalties of $150,000 per movie, the maximum possible statutory damages under U.S. copyright law. It’s expected that the verdict will be used to motivate other BitTorrent defendants to settle their cases.
As the battle over the DMCA’s requirements and boundaries heats up, Google, Facebook, the EFF, Public Knowledge and now the MPAA have become involved in a copyright case currently being heard by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Is it enough for a site to perform takedowns when copyright holders demand them, or must it also take additional steps to remove repeat infringers?