Motion Picture Association of America has just had a copyright victory against Chinese video platform, Xunlei, and it was a long time coming. Xunlei is one of China’s top 10 internet companies and operates ‘Thunder’, the world’s most popular torrent client.
In 2014, Xunlei pursued an IPO in the US which, unfortunately for them, led to a breakthrough signing of a Content Protection Agreement, which required Xunlei to protect MPAA content. In October 2014 MPAA reported Xunlei to the US government and in January 2015 they sued Xunlei for copyright infringement. Xunlei was found guilty of copyright infringement of 28 Hollywood titles at Shenzhen Nanshan District People’s Court.
Xunlei Networking Technologies Co. was found guilty of making 28 movie titles (belonging to Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures and 20th Century Fox, amongst others) available to the public without proper authorisation, ‘in serious violation’ of the movie group’s rights. MPAA was awarded $210k in damages, as well as legal fees. Xunlei was forced to cease-and-desist and pay this compensation.
It took a good few years, but MPAA managed to pin Xunlei down in a court case. The only question now is what is next for them. They have both spent two and a half years committed to a court case. I am certainly interested to see their next moves.