Hotfile Pay Studios $80 Mil Damages

Court orders cyberlocker to shut down unless it implements anti-piracy filters

A federal court has ordered cyberlocker Hotfile to shut down unless it implements copyright-filtering technologies to prevent piracy, and awarded Hollywood studios $80 million in damages in the case brought by the MPAA.

The ruling Tuesday by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida marks the end of the studios’ litigation against the Hotfile and its principal, Anton Titov, the MPAA said. Hotfile, whose website lists a mailing address in Panama, lets users upload and share files.

The judgment comes after the court in August 2013 found Hotfile liable for copyright infringement, rejecting the site’s safe-harbor defense under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The court also found Titov personally liable for Hotfile’s infringement.

According to the MPAA, the case marked the first time a U.S. court has ruled on whether cyberlockers like Hotfile can be held liable for their infringing business practices.

“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,” MPAA chairman and CEO Chris Dodd said in a statement.

The resolution of the Hotfile lawsuit comes after MPAA in October reached a settlement to shut down isoHunt, one of the Internet’s largest torrent-directory sites.

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