The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) yesterday filed seven lawsuits in federal courts across the US against eDonkey and newsgroup websites allegedly responsible for facilitating the illegal swapping of copyrighted files.
The sites provide a huge directory of illegal content to users, according to the MPAA, and encourage people to traffic in copyrighted motion pictures, television shows, music, software and games.
"Website operators who abuse technology to facilitate infringements of copyrighted works by millions of people are not anonymous. They can and will be stopped," said John Malcolm, executive vice president and director of worldwide anti-piracy operations at the MPAA.
"Disabling these powerful networks of illegal file distribution is a significant step in stemming the tide of piracy on the internet."
The lawsuits mark the first time that the MPAA is taking action against sites that enable users of newsgroups to find and download illegal content.
Torrent sites Isohunt.com, BTHub.com, TorrentBox.com and NiteShadow.com are on the MPAA's hit list, along with TorrentSpy.com which it claims is the world's most visited site for obtaining infringing content using Torrent software.
The site offers over 160,000 content items including 27,182 movies, 21,130 TV shows and 45,000 music items.
Meanwhile, Ed2k-It.com, a leading eDonkey site with over 46,000 registered members, is also being targeted together with newsgroups NZB-Zone.com, BinNews.com and DVDRs.net.
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