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MPAA targets TV download sites

Hollywood piracy-fighters turn their attention to swappers of small-screen shows.

Continuing its war on Internet file-swapping sites, the Motion Picture Association of America said Thursday that it has filed lawsuits against a half-dozen hubs for TV show trading.

The trade association said that piracy of TV programming is growing quickly online, and that shows are as important to protect as big-budget films. This is the first legal action from the group that has focused most heavily on TV content.

"Every television series depends on other markets (such as) syndication and international sales to earn back the enormous investment required to produce the comedies and dramas we all enjoy," MPAA Chief Executive Officer Dan Glickman said in a statement. "Those markets are substantially hurt when that content is stolen."

The latest round of suits retains a focus on BitTorrent technology, which has been widely used online to distribute movies and films.

The suits are focused on the sites that serve as traffic directors for BitTorrent swaps, rather than on individual computer users uploading and downloading content. The MPAA also has sued individuals, but has not said how many people have been targeted.

The six sites sued Thursday include ShunTV, Zonatracker, Btefnet, Scifi-Classics, CDDVDHeaven and Bragginrights.