Last month, Russian stream ripper FLVTO.biz filed an appeal of the $83 million verdict against it. A month later and the fight is over as funds run dry.
The RIAA obtained a default judgment in their favor against FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com and its Russian operator more than two years ago. A notice of appeal was filed in March 2022, but the case remained silent until this year. Then a filing in July 2023 revealed the Russian owner was prepared to fight back, requesting an appeal of the original judgment.
At the time, lawyer Val Guvits told TorrentFreak that his client planned to challenge how the site could be held liable for copyright infringement. At the time of the $83 million verdict, FLVTO.biz was attracting 94 million visits a month, with 12% of that traffic originating from the United States. Since then, traffic has fallen to just three million visits per month.
“It is disappointing that a person who has never once set foot in the United States and who has only operated a website accessible anywhere n the world can be ordered to appear in a court halfway around the world,” Gurvits told TorrentFreak about his client’s voluntary dismissal of his appeal.
“And if he fails to do so—or simply can’t afford to do so—then he can be hit with millions of dollars of damages even when there has been no evidence that the plaintiffs actually suffered any damages as a result of his conduct.”
With the appeal withdrawn, the $83 million default judgment in favor of the RIAA stands. It’s unlikely that the regulatory body will recover much. The court order also requires FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com to shut down indefinitely—but as of the time of writing, both sites are still accessible. Accessing either site from the United States results in a message reading, “This service is permanently unavailable in the United States.”