Trade group also targets eDonkey, DirectConnect.

The Motion Picture Assn. of America announced today (Dec. 14) that its member companies have filed lawsuits against individuals who operate servers that index illegal copies of movies and TV programs. The servers are used on computer networks such as BitTorrent.

The MPAA also said it is working to shut down illegal servers on the eDonkey and DirectConnect networks by working with law-enforcement and civil authorities around the world.

John Malcolm, senior VP and director of worldwide anti-piracy operations for the MPAA, says in a statement, “The operators of these servers exercise total control over which files are included on their servers and even determine if some kinds of files aren’t allowed. For instance, some operators won’t post pornography on their systems, but they have no compunction allowing illegal files of copyrighted movies and TV shows to flow through their servers. We are moving to stop that. The message today is clear: If you illegally trade movies online, we can find you and we will hold you accountable.”

The MPAA, with the help of local rights-holder organizations, has been sending cease-and-desist letters to worldwide Internet service providers that host DirectConnect hubs and eDonkey servers. The trade group has also launched litigation against individual file-sharers.