World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Studios Finance has sued a group of BitTorrent users in a copyright infringement claim. WWE filed its suit (pdf) at the US District Court for the District of Connecticut on Thursday, April 6, alleging that the defendants, who are unidentified, infringed and vicariously infringed its copyright. According to the suit, the defendants used the BitTorrent protocol to “unlawfully acquire, reproduce, and distribute” a film called “Eliminators”.
“Eliminators” is a 2016 US action thriller film released by WWE Studios.
The BiTorrent protocol is “one of the most common” peer-to-peer file sharing protocols used for large amounts of data, the suit said, but WWE has not sued the company behind BitTorrent,
The protocol allows users to distribute large files without “creating a heavy load on the source computer and network”.
WWE used forensic software to identify the IP addresses associated with the infringement, the claim added.
The entertainment broadcaster added that as the copyright was copied to each defendant’s computer, each defendant distributed the work by making the downloadable pieces available to other BitTorrent users.
WWE asked for actual damages, statutory damages of $150,000 per infringement, costs and jury trial.