Judge orders online movie pirate to pay $23.8 million to studios

Wednesday, November 24th 2004, 8:51 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A Malaysian man must pay film studios $23.8 million for running a Web site that allowed paying members to watch pirated movies, the Motion Picture Association of America said.

A federal judge announced the decision against Tan Soo Leong at a hearing Monday, said John Malcolm, the association's director of worldwide anti-piracy operations.

Leong ran the Web site film88.com and a company called MasterSurf Inc., which set up computer servers overseas to protect the business from liability, Malcolm said Tuesday.

The MPAA said Leong previously ran a similar Web site, movie88.com, which was shut down by officials in Taiwan. Dutch courts also shut down servers he later set up in Iran and the Netherlands, the association said.

Malcolm said the judge also ordered Leong to destroy copies of copyrighted movies on his Web site.

``This case shows that some people will go to extravagant lengths to profiteer from pirating movies,'' he said.