MPA sues China site

P2P net accused of illegal file-sharing

The Motion Picture Assn. is taking one of China’s most popular P2P file-sharing network operators, Networking Technology (Xunlei), to court alleging copyright infringement and seeking damages and legal costs of yuan 7 million ($980,000).

Among the 32 MPA member companies’ titles included in the complaints were “Spider-Man 3,” “War of the Worlds” and “Miami Vice.”

The studios want Xunlei, which translates as Thunderbolt, to publicly acknowledge the infringements and pledge not to do it again.

The MPA said Xunlei operates and makes available software that facilitates the unauthorized peer-to-peer transmissions of hundreds of titles. This provides search and linking services and is used to stream and/or download films hosted on various systems across the Internet.

The MPA’s legal team sent 78 notices of infringement to Xunlei over five weeks before initiating the litigation.

“These actions demonstrate that copyright holders can and will vigorously defend their property by any legal means, including redress before the courts where necessary,” said Frank Rittman, the MPA’s VP, deputy regional director and regional legal counsel for the Asia-Pacific. “P2P piracy is a huge problem in China, which if left unattended, will threaten the continued development of legitimate online services supported by copyright owners.”

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