A company accused of aiding movie pirates says the group that represents Hollywood studios hired a computer hacker to spy on it.
Valence Media, which operates www.torrentspy.com, sued the Motion Picture Assn. of America on Wednesday, saying the trade group paid a hacker $15,000 to break into Valence's computers and get private information, including e-mails, financial information and trade secrets.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, said an MPAA employee approached a hacker, who was not a Valence employee, and asked him to collect information on the company and its three principals.
The MPAA employee had offered the hacker $15,000 if the information proved useful and said, "We don't care how you get it," according to the lawsuit.