Motion picture studios filed a new round of copyright-infringement lawsuits Oct. 13 against a half-dozen Web site operators, alleging that they attempted to fool consumers into thinking the sites were


WASHINGTON, D.C. (The Hollywood Reporter) -- Motion picture studios filed a new round of copyright-infringement lawsuits Oct. 13 against a half-dozen Web site operators, alleging that they attempted to fool consumers into thinking the sites were legitimately offering copyrighted motion picture images for download.

In fact, the suits allege, the sites falsely claim or imply that by using their services, consumers can download movies legally on the Internet. Actually, they merely connect users to peer-to-peer sites that have pirated copies of movies, according to the Motion Picture Assn. of America. Should they download such movies, the consumer commits copyright infringement.

"There are plenty of ways to download movies legally online, which is good for consumers and good for the movie industry," MPAA chairman/CEO Dan Glickman said. "These scam businesses charge customers for facilitating illegal downloads of movies, which could lure innocent consumers into becoming lawbreakers. We won't tolerate this scam premised on the illegal swapping of valuable movie content."

The lawsuit was filed in the federal District Court in New York against the operators of Downloadshield.com, Full-movie-downloads.com, MP3eternity.com, Moviesadvance.com, Thedownloadplace.com and Easydownloadcenter.com.

According to complaints, these Web sites charge a subscription fee ranging from $20 for a three-month trial to $40 for lifetime membership, ostensibly enabling the member to download an unlimited number of movies online from P2P networks, which often include movies still in theaters.

Noting that these downloads are unauthorized and illegal, the suits seek a court order forbidding the sites to continue operating.

This marks the third round of lawsuits filed against alleged pirate sites and the first such lawsuit following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in MGM Studios v. Grokster.

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