Hotfile going down the same road as Megaupload

MPAA vs HotfileAmong the hundreds of file-sharing sites, the MPAA is going strong against the well-known site Hotfile. Without any doubt, Hotfile ranks amongst the most used and best known sites on the Internet, and as a result it has become the enemy of Hollywood.

Ever since the MPAA sued the site on February 2011, there have been multiple actions taken up on the case, which includes court filing after court filing. Furthermore, Hotfile decided to file a lawsuit against Warner Bros. – which happens to be a member of the MPAA – claiming that they were exploiting their copyright means.  However, this very same week the MPAA has decided to make a significant move by filing a motion in Florida, which calls for summary judgment.

By doing this, the MPAA is hoping to take down Hotfile very soon and they’re going to try to steer away from having to go months in court. They are also comparing the site directly to Megaupload, which would make it in essence just as bad. The description used in court papers state that Hotfile has been put together around violations to copyright.

The court papers also state that Hotfile has stated that they started their business to compete against Megaupload, which would verify the accusations made by the MPAA. Other file-sharing sites were also mentioned and compared with Hotfile to prove that they have committed copyright violation.

Although a mere comparison may not automatically put the cards on the MPAA’s side, they have stated that Hotfile has managed to distribute their very valuable materials among billions of users. These materials are described as motion pictures and television shows. The MPAA also made a comment about previous and very well-known services that were brought down, such as Napster and LimeWire.

According to the MPAA accusations, Hotfile has been making revenue off of the TV shows, movies and every copyrighted material. They also declared that 90% of the files that are accessed by Hotfile members are violating their copyright, and almost every member has broken the law as well. The MPAA has based these remarks on the results published by Richard Waterman, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. These results showed that only 5.3% of the files downloaded from the site are not violating any copyright laws.

Many have stated that it could be possible for Hotfile to seek protection under the safe harbor provision, which would reduce or even eliminate its liability alleging they acted in good faith.  Nevertheless, the MPAA has irrefutably stated that there shouldn’t be such protection, as Hotfile has made a profit. In addition to this, the MPAA states that in fact, Hotfile would promote copyright violation, and would fail to close the account of those who recurrently crossed the line.

It seems that evidence is on the MPAA’s side, since they have managed to get their hands on Hotfile emails where their own personnel instructs their members how to download material that is in violation of copyright. Additionally, they count with the testimony of a few anti-piracy officials, as well as affiliate program discussions in forums regarding Hotfile.

As the case seems to be coming to a conclusion, it may be marking an example on what to expect for similar sites in the future.


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