MPAA switcheroo

Netco sues over org's antipiracy tactics

The Motion Picture Assn. of America is taking an unfamiliar role in court: that of defendant.

Org, which has coordinated dozens of lawsuits by major studios against alleged online pirates, is being sued by the operators of Torrentspy.com, a search engine for BitTorrent files.

Netco, called Valence Media, is already on the receiving end of a lawsuit alleging that it enables movie piracy.

In their suit, Valence principals Justin Bunnell, Forrest Parker and Wes Parker allege that the MPAA paid a former business associate $15,000 to illegally leak confidential business information from their computers and email accounts.

Suit specifically names MPAA veep of antipiracy legal affairs Dean Garfield, alleging that he asked the unnamed associate to get private information and said, “We don’t care how you get it.”

Valence attorney Ira Rothken, who is also defending BitTorrent indexer IsoHunt against an MPAA lawsuit, said he has signed an agreement with the MPAA, along with an affidavit and documentary evidence from the informant, who changed his mind and told the TorrentSpy operators about his work with the film industry org.

A rep for the MPAA denied all of the allegations in the suit.

“Clearly, this is a desperate account by TorrentSpy to take the spotlight off of the lawsuit against them that we’re confident will be successful because they’re facilitating piracy,” said a spokesman.

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