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Hotfile Fights Back Against MPAA Infringement Suit


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Notes that "Studios do not deny that Hotfile scrupulously complies with the DMCA safe harbor provisions," and yet they "complain that they are 'left to play catch-up' because of the 'scale' and 'speed' of users' alleged infringement."

Cyberlocker Hotfile.com is fighting back against claims by the MPAA that the site's "entire business model" is to facilitate copyright infringement by third parties.

This past February the MPAA filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Hotfile, arguing that the site "facilitates the theft of copyrighted motion picture and properties on a staggering scale and profits handsomely from encouraging and providing the means for massive copyright infringement."

Unlike other cyberlocker sites Hotfile rewards users with money kickbacks based on the ratio of uploaded files to the number downloads. Hotfile says that file's "popularity" file is no indication of whether it's copyrighted or not.

Hotfile says the Studios are trying to rehash the famous Sony Betamax decision of 1984 in which the Supreme Court ruled in favor of technology "capable of substantial non-infringing uses" much like its online data storage service.

It points out that it has has complied with each and every DMCA takedown notice it's received from the MPAA, and even blocks access to "specifically-identified copyrighted works."

"The Studios do not deny that Hotfile scrupulously complies with the DMCA safe harbor provisions," it adds. "They nonetheless complain that they are 'left to play catch-up' because of the 'scale' and 'speed' of users' alleged infringement."

Hotfile also notes that the site has no "search box" meaning that only the users themselves can make copyrighted content illegally available to others, and if "third-party pirate link sites" are organizing and hosting Hotfile links then the MPAA should target them instead.

"The Studios do not allege that they have attempted to sue these 'pirate link sites' or that any such sites are controlled by Hotfile," it says.

Moreover, it says the MPAA hasn't claimed that Hotfile has allowed "specifically identified infringing content" to be hosted on its servers, and that therefore there is "no legal basis" to argue that Hotfile had an "intent to infringe."

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