The Motion Picture Association of America has claimed victory in a summary judgement against file locker website HotFile, which it maintains has built its entire business on the trafficking of illegally pirated movies, music and software – despite the fact that the most popular shared files on the site are open source.
With Rapidshare being targeted several times over the past few years and the Megaupload takedown in early 2012, it’s no surprise that Hotfile has been getting its fair share of attention. However, while Hotfile has been more than happy to meet the copyright lobby group in a court room, even counter-suing Warner Bros for what it claimed was an abuse of the copyright takedown tools Hotfile provides to movie studios, the MPAA has done its best to avoid it. So much so in-fact, that it’s pushed for a summary judgement, which avoids the need for a jury.
While no official announcement has been made by the courts, the MPAA is already claiming victory, suggesting that the court said: “Hotfile was successful in large part because it did not control infringement activity on its system.”
According to the MPAA and its filing, Hotfile existed purely to benefit from illegal piracy and is therefore liable for charges of copyright infringement. This is despite the fact that many other organisations such as Youtube, feature copyright infringement on a regular basis – but the MPAA works with it in different ways to combat it.
Head of the MPAA Chris Dodd was quoted by TorrentFreak as saying that this was: “a victory for all of the men and women who work hard to create our favorite movies and TV shows.” Despite the fact that a recent study proved smaller films and TV shows are actually helped by piracy.
With a ruling that could have such far reaching repercussions, it seems likely that Hotfile will appeal and continue to push for a full trial in front of a jury of its peers.
KitGuru Says: Nobody has ever suggested that these sites don’t contribute to piracy, but to suggest their whole business models are built on it is absurd. But even if that was the case, that’s not what these sites are used for on the whole now. Distributing files is an important part of the modern internet landscape. When groups like the MPAA try and shut down our methods of doing so, they not only drive the illegal activity further under ground, but they set back modern technological developments by strangling them with red tape.