Man Fined $1.5M for Pirating Gay Porn Films
A man has been slammed with a $1.5 million fine for pirating 10 gay porn films by uploading them via BitTorrens, the BBC reports.
A federal court in Illinois awarded Flava Works, a gay porn studio based in Miami and Chicago, $150,000 per movie that was illegally uploaded to file-sharing websites by Kywan Fisher.
According to reports, it is the largest file-sharing case in history.
Fisher was a paid member of Flava Works and legally downloaded the 10 porn videos but then decided to upload the clips and share them via BitTorrent -- a method of downloading files by the way of peer-to-peer file sharing, which allows other people around the web to download them for free. Once they were on the network, the films were downloaded 3,449 times.
Fisher, however, didn't know that Flava encrypted the clips with special codes that allows the studio to trace individuals who pirate its videos. In this case, officials from the studio were able to find Fisher instantly.
According to Flava's argument, he exhibited "willful copyright infringement" and violated the studio's terms and conditions.
Since Fisher did not defend himself, Judge John Lee ordered a default judgment in favor of Flava. The defendant, however, did not specify if he would appeal the case.
Flava also went after 14 other people who allegedly pirated their movies but the cases against the others were dropped earlier this year due to a lack of evidence.
Flava Works, which features black and Latino men in its media, was founded in 1999 by CEO Philip Bleicher. It is also an online dating portal for black and Latino men and offers content to a number of adult websites.