Hotfile has been taken to a US District Court of Florida this week by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which is using all of its leverage to file for a summary judgement that could shut down the Internet file hosting service.
The MPAA was also actively involved in the multi-year FBI investigation of MegaUpload, providing the government with concrete evidence of pro-piracy behaviors that led to multiple arrests, including that of the website founder Kim Dotcom. The US Department of Justice has brought charges of piracy, money laundering, and racketeering against DotCom and six of his employees.
And with that momentum tilting in their favor, the MPAA has seen fit to refocus on Hotfile, which it deems a piracy haven where more than 90% of all downloads are copyright infringing. And this litigation comes, despite the fact that Hotfile sued Warner Bros. last year for allegedly abusing its own copyright tools.
The movie organization has spent the last few years lobbying the US government for file hosting, sharing, and transfer services to be shut down for copyright infringement.
Now the MPAA is making a huge pitch to the US courts, as it pertains to Hotfile’s file hosting service and piracy, in general, and this case could set precedent for the MPAA and piracy as far as the law is concerned.
The MPAA has gone to great lengths to implicate Hotfile in willingly aiding and abetting users that repeatedly acted upon file sharing that would be deemed copyright infringement.
And the MPAA has gone all out on this one.
Citing the University of Pennsylvania Professor Richard Waterman, the MPAA argued in their court papers that his study proves that 90.2 percent of all downloads made on Hotfile daily are copyright infringing versus an approximate 5.3 percent that are clearly not infringing.
Hotfile’s legal team has built their service to be in accordance with the US Library of Congress’s DMCA legislation, in particular under the protection of a safe-harbor provision.
But if the MPAA proves that Hotfile purposely allowed users to become pirates and share copyrighted movies and files, then the red tape could disappear. And the court could bring out the death penalty for Hotfile’s current format (just like what happened to Napster once Lars Ulrich got involved with the record company’s case).