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Hotfile Ordered to Pay $80 Million in Copyright Case

3 Dec, 2013 By: Chris Tribbey

File-sharing site Hotfile.com has been ordered to pay $80 million for violating studio copyrights and will be shut down if it doesn’t employ copyright filtering technologies going forward, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida ruled Dec. 3.

The ruling effectively closes the book on Hotfile’s file-sharing service, and ends litigation Disney, Fox, Universal, Sony Pictures and Warner took against the site and its chief executive, Anton Titov, in March 2012. The studios were successful in shutting down file-sharing service MegaUpload in January 2012.

“This judgment by the court is another important step toward protecting an Internet that works for everyone,” said former Sen. Chris Dodd, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America. “Sites like Hotfile that illegally profit off of the creativity and hard work of others do a serious disservice to audiences, who deserve high-quality, legitimate viewing experiences online.”

Hotfile attempted to defend itself from the allegations by claiming safe harbor protections under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a stance the court rejected. The court ordered Hotfile to use copyright filtering tools if it wishes to continue doing business online.

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