Looks like the days of eye-popping illegal-downloading judgments aren’t quite over yet.
A couple years ago, Kywan Fisher paid for membership to the adult movie house Flava Works and downloaded 10 porn flicks to his computer. He then uploaded them to BitTorrent, where they were downloaded 3,449 times. What Fisher didn’t realize: The movies had watermarks that traced back to the subscriber who downloaded them. In 2011, Flava Works tracked down Fisher and took him to court.
When Fisher didn’t show up to defend himself, a federal judge found him guilty. More surprising: The judge’s $1.5 million penalty, the largest-ever involving torrent files. Despite blogger outrage at the reward, it’s likely to remain symbolic, since Flava Works will presumably face an uphill struggle collecting the money from Fisher.