Trade group also targets subscription sites.

The Motion Picture Assn. of America announced today (Feb. 10) that its member companies have filed a second round of lawsuits aimed at disabling online movie piracy facilitated by major peer-to-peer networks such as eDonkey and BitTorrent. The suits are against individuals who operate servers that index illegal copies of movies and TV programs.

Additionally, the MPAA said it will send takedown notices to Internet service providers that specifically host eDonkey servers on which copyright infringement takes place.

Further, the MPAA is targeting four Web sites that charge customers a subscription fee to help them locate and download films illegally. The sites are brandnewmovies.com, moviepros.net, downloadmuch.com and downloaditall.com.

The MPAA claims that its efforts have led to a 40% reduction in the number of servers that offer films illegally. One such entity, LokiTorrent, which was one of BitTorrent's host servers, no longer exists. Its operator, Edward Webber, is paying an unspecified settlement and is providing the MPAA with access to its logs and server data.

MPAA member companies filed their first round of suits targeting P2P networks on Dec. 14.

John G. Malcolm, senior VP and director of worldwide anti-piracy operations for the MPAA, says in a statement, "With our first round of lawsuits and legal actions against these individuals who facilitate the theft of movies online, often for their own personal gain, we were able to seriously hamper the traffic on these sites or completely shut them down.

"That was one step -- and a successful one -- against these individuals, and today's announcement should demonstrate that we plan to be equally vigilant against anyone caught operating one of these Web sites," he continued. "And as these actions prove, we will catch them."