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Hotfile agrees to shut down, pay $80M to movie industry on eve of trial

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Hotfile, a prominent cyber locker that allows people to swap digital files, has agreed to shut down its operations and to pay $80 million as part of a settlement with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

The news comes via a press release by the MPAA, which won a major victory in August when it persuaded a federal judge in Florida to rule that that Hotfile did not qualify for a “safe harbor” under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

The August ruling paved the way for a jury trial that was to begin this week, but which is now unnecessary in light of the settlement.

The settlement amounts to a victory for Hollywood interests, which argue that cyber lockers are a vehicle for piracy. Opponents disagree, pointing out there is nothing inherently illegal about an online digital storage locker.

Ordinarily, companies that provide hosting or platform services are immune from being held liable for the actions of their users, provided they follow certain steps. In this case, the judge ruled Hotfile and its owner, Anton Titov, could not benefit from the safe harbor shield because they had actively encouraged infringement.

Earlier this week, the judge issued a noteworthy ruling that forbade lawyers for the MPIA from using terms like “piracy,” “theft” or “stealing” before the jury.

9 Responses to “Hotfile agrees to shut down, pay $80M to movie industry on eve of trial”

  1. Yeh Chutiyapa Hai

    Hey Admin,
    I am starting a website, where user can watch all their favorite TV episodes and movies.
    My plan to pick content from Youtube from respective channel.

    I just want to know Is this legal or not? I’m not hosting any videos as I’m just embebbed the videos which i found on Youtube.

  2. Nichole Zuill

    funny thing is all you actors, musicians, entertainment execs and the rest of your squad. Do this because you love it… apparently.
    but yet you ll are paid salaries that some of us can only dream of. Ironic part or ART shall i say is that its our money!! if it wasn’t for advertisements and all the things dangled in front of us you all wouldn’t be anything except starving Artist!
    So start giving the best of you freely and just maybe you’d get some respect for the best of you.


  3. This is wonderful news. They were just more lying thieves. I can say it here even if the judge is prejudiced against the artists and creators. Why isn’t it theft to take the product of our hard work?

    • Ciddi Kedi

      Thief? How come sharing something is thievery? if they lose money that doesnt mean sharing is a thievery. Sharing a book is also a thievery then. we dont steal their movies, music or anything we buy and share with others i dont see a reason why that should be illegal?

    • I’m thinking beyond hiring Miley Cyrus. Beyond hiring midgets. No, hiring midgets who look and move like Miley Cyrus. Lots of them. From all 7 corners of the earth. No holds barred on this launch party, and the MPAA gets an empty keg, some soiled prophylactics and the most horrifying Instagram account ever, when all is said and done.

      How can these people have missed the opportunity?