200,000 U.S. BitTorrent Users Sued

More than 99 percent of the suits were directly targeted at BitTorrent, while 1237 are aimed at users that allegedly used eD2k. More than 55,000 cases have been settled over the 20 months, which leaves the number of pending suits at 145,417 at this time.

Torrent Freak highlighted the download frenzy surrounding Hurt Locker, which triggered a massive wave of copyright infringement lawsuits - 24,583 against BitTorrent users. The publication notes that the copyright infringement trend could be turning into a significant business opportunity - not just for the lawyers drafting and submitting the filings, but also for the copyright holders themselves - especially those who are willing to settle for a few thousand dollars out of court to escape the threat of a $150,000 fine for each copyrighted title in question. This could be providing a decent windfall for the entertainment industry.

If that is the case, the RIAA may want to rethink its decision to curb illegal file downloading from sources such as BitTorrent. The organization announced in July that it is working with Internet Service providers to monitor the download activity of their users in an effort that is called Copyright Alert System. If you download copyrighted material, your bandwidth will be throttled. The RIAA calls this a mitigation measure to stop online content theft.

Douglas Perry is an author and journalist from Portland, Oregon. His many articles have appeared in the likes of Tom's Guide, Tom's Hardware, The Oregonian, and several newspapers. He has covered topics including security, hardware, and cars, and has written five books. In his spare time, he enjoys watching The Sopranos.