Maybe I’ve got it all wrong, but I didn’t think you could earn $43 million running a torrent tracker out of Lithuania. Well, Microsoft seems to think you can. TorrentFreak is reporting that the software giant has filed a lawsuit to that tune against one Kestas Ermanas, a man it accuses of facilitating the theft of its Microsoft Office products by operating the widely used LinkoManija website. Ermanas stated in an interview with TorrentFreak that Microsoft never once contacted LinkoManija with a torrent takedown request.
Microsoft probably realizes that it’s unlikely, if not impossible, to get the full damages it’s seeking, as Lithuanian law limits possible winnings to a mere $53,000 dollars. Perhaps Microsoft is using the case to set precedent, so it can chase after, or just scare the bejesus out of, other torrent sites similar to LinkoManija.
The development comes at a time when other media giants, like the RIAA, have decided to slow down the lawsuits against file-sharers and find new ways to rein in the digital black market. To avoid reputation-tarnishing lawsuits, the RIAA has been increasingly working to forge agreements with ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to limit or even cut off bandwidth to customers they suspect of downloading music illegally. So, for the moment, it looks like the media companies are using tricks both old and new to keep their intellectual property safe, but the battle for the internet rages on, with no clear end in sight.