According to Hotfile, a guy by the name of Michael Bentkover and his cronies are copyright crooks and liars. Not with those words, but that’s the executive summary of their copyright fraud lawsuit against Warner Bros.
Bentkover is Manager of Anti-Piracy Internet Operations at Warner Brothers and Hotfile says he and his company repeatedly committed copyright fraud. Apparently, they may have a good case. Here’s the story:
When Warner and four other major motion picture studios contacted Hotfile about pirates using their service to copy their movies, Hotfile gave them a Special Rightsholder Account(SRA), a tool designed to flag and delete any content they owned. With the tool, Warner could easily search for their copyrighted material and destroy it. But instead of just doing that, they went around living up to their douchebag legend and erased everything they wanted, which included material that was not owned by them. They deleted freeware and open source software left, right and centre.
And you see, that’s very very wrong:
Every time Warner used the SRA tool it expressly certified ‘under penalty of perjury that [it is]the owner or an authorised legal representative of the owner of copyrights’ and it ‘has a good faith belief’ that use of this material is not authorised by the copyright owner.
But why would Benktover do that? Was he too thick to make a distinction? Could it be a mistake? No. Hotfile repeatedly warned them that they were abusing the tool and wrongfully deleting files that weren’t theirs at all “ruling out any possibility that its wrongful actions were accidental or unknowing.”
So why do it then? According to Hotfile, the alleged scoundrels were doing it for money:
Warner had an economic motive to make these misrepresentations. As noted above, in early 2010, Warner proposed a business arrangement with Hotfile whereby Warner sought to present ecommerce links to Hotfile users who might purchase a Warner file for Warner’s profit in place of links that Warner had deleted using its SRA tool.
By increasing the number of links it was taking down with [their]SRA, and indeed falsely inflating these numbers, Warner was increasing the number of times it could present ecommerce links to Hotfile’s users for its own enrichment.
So we got “violation of the DMCA, intentional interference with a contractual or business relationship and negligence” driven by economic interest. Sooooo nice.
Hotfile wants a jury trial and I hope they crush these abusive bastards to the ground. [Torrent Freak]