The publisher of the popular “For Dummies” books on a variety of subjects is demanding a trial by jury of people accused of copying its books.
Papers filed in New York said four defendants were involved in the alleged piracy against John Wiley & Sons, according to the BBC. The lawsuit was originally reported by the Torrent Freak website.
The firm's lawyer told the BBC that he believed this would be the first trial of its kind based on the use of Bittorrent.
Wiley had previously filed 15 lawsuits to obtain the identities of about 200 people believed to have infringed the copyright of its titles.It said in papers filed last October that users had "engaged in the illegal copying and distribution of Wiley's 'For Dummies' books through the peer-to-peer file sharing software known as Bittorrent".
Although it said that it was unable to give a precise figure for the amount of revenue lost, it described the sum as "enormous". One title — "Photoshop CS5 All-In-One For Dummies" — had been downloaded 74,000 times over a 16-month period, Wiley said.
Wiley's lawyer, William Dunnegan, told the BBC: "We are asking people who are identified by their ISPs as being copyright infringers to pay the minimum amount due under the Copyright Act as statutory damages. That sum is $750.
"For the most part people are owning up and complying with the law. However, the named defendants have not."
The US Copyright Act allows a penalty of up to $150,000 to be imposed per infringement if the accused loses the case.
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