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Man gets $1.5 million fine for sharing porn via torrents

Posted By Ashraf On November 2, 2012 @ 11:24 PM In World Wide Web | No Comments

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So you like your daily (hourly?) dose of porn. Cool, have fun. Just remember to not share it via peer-to-peer channels… otherwise you may end up with a multi-million dollar fine, not to mention public embarrassment.

Flava Works, a company that produces pornography, likes to go after people who share its copyrighted content. Kywan Fisher is one such man that landed in the crosshairs of Flava Works, who sued Fisher in a federal court in Illinois for sharing ten gay porn videos. Fisher, who lives in Virginia, was did not make it to his hearing to defend himself, so the judge handed him a default sentence of the maximum penalty — $1.5 million.

According to Flava Works, the company embeds a unique digital code inside all the content its paying members download. So when Flava Works finds its content being shared via torrents, it is able to easily identify who shared the content by matching the unique digital code to a member account. This is how Flava Works knows Fisher is the one to share the porn videos, which were downloaded a total of 3,449 times according to Flava Works. Flava Works actually accused a total of fifteen people, but the charges against the other fourteen were dropped due to lack of evidence.

One of the reasons US Judge John Lee handed Fisher the maximum penalty is because he didn’t show up to defend himself. (Anyone ever consider that the guy couldn’t travel from Virginia to Illinois? Not everyone has an expense account, ya’ know. Then again, he could have hired a lawyer to represent him.) The other reason is Flava Works claimed Fisher took part in “wilful copyright infringement”, which carries a maximum penalty of $150,000 per video. Since Flava Works accused Fisher of sharing ten videos, that makes the total penalty $1.5 million. If Fisher had defended himself, he might of been able to get away with the minimum $750 per video penalty (assuming he is actually guilty, as alleged).

Moral of the story? I’ll let you figure that one out.

[via ArsTechnica [2]]


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[2] ArsTechnica: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/11/virginia-man-owes-1-5-million-for-sharing-10-porn-films/

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