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Motion Picture Association suing two in Memphis for swapping pirated movies

Even though the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is being sued by TorrentSpy.com claiming the MPAA hired a hacker to spy on their computers, that hasn't stopped MPAA from filing lawsuits against individuals who swap movies.

Even though the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is being sued by TorrentSpy.com claiming the MPAA hired a hacker to spy on their computers, that hasn't stopped MPAA from filing lawsuits against individuals who swap movies illegally over the Internet. TorrentSpy alleges that in July last year the MPAA paid a hacker $15,000 for the information and MPAA told the hacker they didn't care how he got the information and that they would protect him from any liability in obtaining the information. On November 1st, MPAA filed lawsuits against four Tennesseans, whereas two are from Memphis, one from Bartlett, TN and one from Selmar, TN. If charged, the fines can be as high as $150,000 per downloaded movie and they could face time behind bars if any of them are found to be distributing and copying pirated movies.

The worldwide motion picture industry said it lost $18.2 billion in 2005 as a result of piracy and over $7 billion of that they said is due to internet piracy.

In July, Kazaa peer-to-peer software makers Sharman Networks settled piracy suits and agreed to pay more than $115 million in penalties to leading music and movie companies. Sharman Networks "Kazaa" stated that it would begin to offer licensed entertainment for a price similar to Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes service.

In November 2003, Independent Feature Project chapters in New York and Los Angeles also filed a lawsuit against the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). The group was seeking a restraining order to prevent the MPAA from enforcing its ban on awards screeners and hoping to win a ruling that would allow the distribution of screeners to all guilds, critics groups, and other organizations.

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