A Russian court has convicted a 23-year-old woman of illegally spreading pornography online, handing down a two-year suspended sentence. With that sentence, though, the Russian court inadvertently highlighted the difference between Russian and American punishment for downloading pornography from the Internet.

The Russian court has kept the woman’s identity anonymous, with Global Voices Online reporting that she lives in Kemerovo, which is more than 2,000 miles east of Moscow. The judge, as quoted by Global Voices, ruled that Article 242 of Russia’s criminal code prohibiting “illegal distribution of pornographic materials” over the Internet had been violated (though the conviction did not involve any copyright issues).

The woman admitted downloading three pornographic movies in November 2012 in a crime that, if committed stateside, might have landed this anonymous 23-year-old on the hook for $2 million.

Several companies located throughout California and Arizona have made headlines for essentially intimidating individuals into paying large fines without proving that the Internet users in question committed any wrongdoing. Malibu Media, in particular, has made headlines by contacting customers by mail and, in at least one case, demanding $2 million.

One man, who wished to remain anonymous, told an NBC affiliate that Malibu Media accused him of illegally downloading and sharing copyrighted pornographic material from its website. The married father and active church member could either settle for a less intimidating figure or fight the charges, at which point his name would be publicly attached to a federal lawsuit creating at least the suspicion that he downloaded porn.

“I freaked out. They’re gonna take everything,” he told NBC of his concern. “I felt like a criminal. They made me feel like I was breaking the law. … They’re extortionists is what they are.”

The case is currently ongoing, but the man’s defense attorney said she’s used forensic tools on the man’s computer and found no record of his viewing, much less illegally sharing any kind of pornographic content.

Yet the case is a reminder of how often this kind of copyright trolling happens. The issue has become so prevalent throughout California, home to the porn industry, that judges have introduced sanctions on individual lawyers who have become known exclusively for representing shady porn creators. Judges have gone so far as to ask lawyers flat-out why they continue to use the tactic that the Recording Industry Association of America abandoned after a slew of bad publicity.

“The RIAA stopped because suing their own customers was ruining their reputation,” Mitch Stoltz, a lawyer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told the Los Angeles Times. But the legal ground they established was picked up by people without reputations to protect.”