A Los Angeles court decided against TorrentSpy in their ongoing legal battle with the MPAA and terminated their case. According to the ruling, TorrentSpy was sanctioned for destructing evidence.
The court ruled that TorrentSpy tampered with evidence as they deleted infringing forum threads, deleted and renamed categories and subcategories that referred to copyrighted material. On top of this, TorrentSpy allegedly deleted IP addresses of its users, something that was apparently considered to be evidence. The court explained that “although termination of a case is a harsh sanction appropriate only in extraordinary circumstance, the circumstances of this case are sufficiently extraordinary to merit such a sanction.”
The MPAA already claims a victory, but Justin Bunnell, founder of TorrentSpy does not want to give up yet. He told News.com in a response: “It’s not like they proved their case. It’s not like they proved that TorrentSpy infringed copyright, I think we have a lot of grounds for appeal and we’ll pursue it vigorously.”
John Malcolm, Executive Vice President and Director of Worldwide Anti-Piracy Operations for the MPAA said in a response to the ruling: “The court clearly recognized that defendants engaged in evidence destruction because they knew that such evidence would prove damaging to them. The sole purpose of TorrentSpy and sites like it is to facilitate and promote the unlawful dissemination of copyrighted content. TorrentSpy is a one-stop shop for copyright infringement and we will continue to aggressively enforce our members’ rights
to stop such infringement.”
To get a more “balanced” view we asked Andrew Norton, a spokesman for the US Pirate Party for a response, and he said: “This case shows again the need for radical reform in the US legal system, as well as educating our judges to deal with modern technology. This is not the 1970s, where the basic underpinnings and mechanics of technologies were readily understandable by the layman, but require significant knowledge in the technologies involved. Perhaps it is time we had specific courts with jurists who are kept upto date on technological progress, so that justice can be sought, rather than judgments based on which side has the most lyrical attorney.”
In August, a federal judge ordered TorrentSpy to log all user data stored in RAM. In a response to this decision – and to ensure the privacy of their users – they decided that it was best to block access to all users from the US. TorrentSpy, once the most visited BitTorrent site on the Internet has taken some serious hits from the MPAA and this ruling doesn’t make it easier. In October we reported that TorrentSpy’s traffic, and thus their revenue have plunged after they banned US visitors, and it is not likely that the movie studios will back off the site shuts down completely.
To be continued…