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Hotfile Shuts Down After $80 Mil MPAA Piracy Settlement

Federal court found cyberlocker site liable for copyright infringement

Cyberlocker website Hotfile has shut its file-swapping doors, after losing a massive copyright infringement lawsuit brought by Hollywood studios.

Hotfile’s file-sharing service went offline just hours after the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida ordered the website to shut down unless it implemented copyright-filtering technologies to prevent piracy. The court also awarded MPAA $80 million in damages.

“As a result of a United States federal court having found Hotfile.com to be in violation of copyright law, the site has been permanently shut down,” according to a notice on the website, posted late Tuesday. “If you are looking for your favorite TV shows and movies, there are more ways than ever to get high-quality access to them on legal platforms.”

MPAA sued Hotfile in February 2011. Initially Hotfile fought the copyright-infringement charges, claiming protection under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, but the court rejected that defense.

In a separate case, the MPAA in October reached a settlement to shut down isoHunt, one of the Internet’s largest torrent-directory sites.

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