With MegaUpload out of the picture and numerous other file-sharing sites running scared, the MPAA has another major content hub in its sights. And from the looks of court documents unsealed this week, Hotfile may want to start considering an exit strategy.
According to US District Court documents in the Southern District of Florida, the MPAA’s members have requested a summary judgement against Hotfile, arguing that the site enables piracy and copyright infringement. Summary judgements are basically a court order imposed on one party at the request of another and done so without a trial. Indeed, the fact that Hotfile actually pays its most prolific uploaders for their behaviour without tracking the number or identity of infringers — a requirement of the DMCA — certainly doesn’t help Hotfile’s case.
Nor does the resemblance to how MU ran it’s business. “Hotfile’s business model is indistinguishable from that of the website Megaupload, which recently was indicted criminally for engaging in the very same conduct as Hotfile. Defendants even admit that they formed Hotfile ‘to compete with’ Megaupload,” court documents read.
In its defence, Hotfile has argued that it is protected under DMCA safe harbor provisions and has cooperated with rights holders. However, if those arguments didn’t work for MegaUpload, why would anyone think they would now? The original suit was filed by Warner Brothers in February of last year to which Hotfile countersued in September. [scribd via Ars Technica via Digital Trends]
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