Hollywood Files New Round of Filesharing Lawsuits

(Reuters) - Hollywood’s major movie studios filed a new round of lawsuits nationwide Thursday against people who trade illegally copied films and TV shows on the Internet.

The civil suits against unnamed ‘John Doe’ defendants seek up to $150 000 per downloaded digital file and come as the film industry prepares for its annual Oscar telecast in Hollywood… The studios claim they lose [USD] $3.5 billion worldwide in annual revenues from sales of illegally copied movies on video and DVD formats in street bazaars and black markets.

‘When rampant online theft occurs, these films become that much harder to finance…we cannot and will not let that happen,’ MPAA Chief Executive Dan Glickman said in a telephone conference call with reporters.

The facts say otherwise. Private filesharing should be the least of the studios’ worries: commercial bootleg and street vendor rings are the real problems, if any:

The pirate CD market is now so big, $4.6bn (£2.86bn), it is ‘of greater value than the legitimate music market of every country in the world, except the USA and Japan’.

Source: Reuters, CNN Money
Ken Fisher, Ars Technica
Mark Ward, BBC News