A federal court in Illinois, US has ordered Kywan Fisher from Hampton to pay $1.5m to adult entertainment firm Flava Works for sharing 10 of their movies on BitTorrent.
The fine is claimed to the biggest in a file-sharing case under current US copyright law.
Fisher was found guilty of infringing Flava’s copyright based on the fact that each of the films distributed had a unique encrypted code that was specific to him.
In 2011, Flava Works sued Fisher and several others in a case that differed from so-called John Doe lawsuits because Flava Works had detailed information on the defendants who had paid accounts on its movie portal.
Flava Works claimed that instead of just viewing the films for personal entertainment, Fisher allegedly went on to share copies on the BitTorrent site.
Fisher had exhibited wilful copyright infringement and violated the terms and conditions of the pay-to-view video service he signed up for, Flava claimed.
Thousands of people in the US have been sued for downloading and sharing copyrighted content on BitTorrent since early 2010.
In September this year, a study revealed that the illegal use of file-sharing service BitTorrent to download the latest film or music release is likely to be monitored.
BitTorrent is used by individuals and organisations to distribute their own or licensed materials like film, video, and music.