Back in 2013, the Motion Picture Association of America filed one of its biggest victories: a $US80 million settlement against Hotfile, a file-sharing website that got on the wrong side of Hollywood. Only, Hotfile never paid anything close to that amount, and the MPAA has been telling a (court-approved) fib about the whole thing.
According to more Sony emails unearthed by TorrentFreak, the real settlement was a paltry $US4 million. Sure, that's still a fair bit of money for a pirating website. But it's just 5 per cent of what the MPAA claimed that it extracted. The movie association got away with the lie because it was written into the settlement: according to TorrentFreak's email, Hotfile really settled for $US4 million, shutting down the website, and agreeing to say that it paid $US80 million when questioned in public.
This revelation (if it turns out to be true — at the moment it banks on one leaked email from a company on the sidelines of the legal case) throws some of the MPAA's other big wins, like $US110 million from isoHunt, into doubt. What is clear is that Hollywood is more concerned with getting big headlines than actual substantive wins against piracy websites. [TorrentFreak]