Court Orders Pirate to Reimburse Developer $30,000

By Aaron Linde, Aug 19, 2008 11:54am PDT London's Patents County Court has ordered an unidentified woman to pay nearly $30,000 in fines to Topware Interactive for illegally sharing one of the studio's games online, according to a Telegraph report spotted by MCV.

The woman, who is among the first to be sued for copyright violation in the United Kingdom by a game company, was fined damages of £6086.56 ($11,325) and costs and disbursements of £10,000 ($18,607) for distributing Topware's Dream Pinball 3D.

The ruling establishes a strong precedent for further action against copyright violators. London law firm Davenport Lyons, which represents Topware Interactive, is also pursuing civil proceedings against 100 people suspected of illegally uploading copyrighted software.

"Illegal file-sharing is a very serious issue resulting in millions of pounds of losses to copyright owners," said Davenport Lyons senior partner David Gore. "As downloading speeds and internet penetration increase, this continues to be a worldwide problem across the media industry which increasingly relies on digital revenues."

He added, "The damages and costs ordered by the court are significant and should act as a deterrent. This shows that taking direct steps against infringers is an important and effective weapon in the battle against online piracy."

According to the firm, London's High Court has also made a strong showing for copyright infringement, ordering internet service providers to release several thousand names and addresses of "suspected file sharers."

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