Hotfile to shutdown, pay $80 million to settle MPAA lawsuit

File-sharing website, Hotfile, has been ordered by the US District Court of Southern District of Florida to cease operations and pay about $80 million in damages for settling the copyright infringement lawsuit filed by the Motion Picture Association of America.

The lawsuit which began in early 2011 finally reached judgement today ending MPAA's litigation against the website and its Florida-based founder, Anton Titov. It was reported recently by TorrentFreak, that MPAA was seeking about $500 million in damages from Hotfile, but the court has awarded $80 million in damages to the various movie studios affected by the content shared on the website. Additionally, the site has been ordered to shutdown unless they implement a copyright filtering mechanism for the uploaded content to prevent future infringements.

Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America said that, “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.”

According to MPAA's press release, Hotfile was found to be the most trafficked infringing website on the internet by the Court in August 2013 and rejected the site's "Safe Harbor" defense under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. This case is first of its kind to hold a content locker liable for infringing business practices by a US Court.

Source: GigaOM | Image via ShutterStock

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24 Comments

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Why bother? If you can manipulate the courts to demand ludicrous sums of money from people who actually provide a service to customers why even compete in the marketplace?

I'd buy into the anti-pirates thing if that $80 million was going to artists whose works were infringed. It's not it's going to lawyers and executives who also don't produce...

Yep, MOST artists (minus Metallica ) would honestly care less so long as they get to practice their art and make a living. Ok, I can't speak for all of them but that's how I'd feel. It's lawyers and corporate greed, as cliché as that sounds, that ruin it.

I've never heard about this company until now. And I now wonder what their balance sheet looks like and how much money they've made in total in their history.

Making a company pay millions in damages is worthless if they have zero (or less than enough) on their account. They'll just go bankrupt and that will be it.

They offer the same services as Uploaded, Rapidshare, Megaupload, etc...
There are tons of sites like this one.

Except they used to actually let you download at a decent speed, unlike uploaded.net and rapidshare.net. Rapidshare used to be fast for free users until they busted everyone that was sharing their content.

Does anyone still use Rapidshare?

Very few still use Rapidshare. Hotfile had also declined in usage. This is what happens when you have '.com' in your URL. You make it easier for the MPAA to use US laws to get to you. Neowin should be safe for a while yet.

Wam7 said,
This is what happens when you have '.com' in your URL. You make it easier for the MPAA to use US laws to get to you. Neowin should be safe for a while yet.

neowin.net at least, not neowin.com

Soon they will ask for cameras to be installed inside apartments to monitor copyright infringements made by tenants.