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Five major studios allege Hotfile's business is unlawful file distribution
Thursday 08 March 2012 19:11:06 by Andrew Ferguson

The battle between movie studios and those it sees as making money out of their content without permission continues. Five major Hollywood studios are trying to get Hotfile taken offline, with its over 700 servers located in Dallas, Texas seizing or forcing the service offline should be easier than a service hosted overseas.

Hotfile is claiming safe habour under as part of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, that exists to protect service providers from prosecution, provided they act on reasonable requests for the removal of copyright infringing material. Alas the MPAA is pursuing the angle that Hotfile is not acting on these takedowns, in particular repeat offenders are not being banned from the service.

A large part of the court papers cover how Hotfile operate an affiliates system, where you earn based on how many times a file you have uploaded is downloaded. The money coming from subscriptions to the service, which start at $9 a month. Users can download material from the site for free, but are given slower access to the services and download limits. Hotfile has tried to be clever and not offer its own search system, with users distributing links and making the world aware of what they've uploaded, resulting in a growing number of file locker search engines.

Hotfile has recently made changes that go someway towards assuaging concerns of the MPAA, but whether it will be enough to stave off a closure notice is unknown at this time.

This case only highlights the fact that people are willing to pay for content, and while we see occassional promotions on legal movie download sites, the majority of rentals still run at £3.49, and purchases are still around the same price as the high street. Reduced prices for digital content will not wipe out infringing file sharing, but they may reduce it to a level where studio's will not feel their work is being abused. The rebrand of the Android Google Market to Google Play, has a range of movies available for rental from 20p to 99p as part of its launch promotion, the content will play on a PC or any of your Android devices.

The most annoying aspect is that for those who enjoy movies in their portable digital form is that you need multiple subscriptions to services to actually view content from the major studios. Another example of the complex rules that content is made available under, are shown by the fact that while Apple TV with its 1080p update is going to allow people to re-download content at the higher resolution, currently Fox and Universal content will not be available as there is a HBO 1080p exclusive deal in place.

Comments

Posted by tommy45 over 3 years ago
Yet more evidence that these corporates will go all out to control the web, they forget that the www was designed for file sharing in the beginning,I don't buy movies as after i have watched them the dvd or vhs tape would just sit there unused collecting dust,i used to go to the cinema some 10-15yrs ago ,but since they hiked up to prices they closed that opportunity,I disagree with the prices for movie rental as are too high, and the digital version of the quality sucks,
It is their own fault no one want's to support their greedy outdated inflexible industries
Posted by chrysalis over 3 years ago
the google rent prices if not promotional would have been on the right track but I sadly think the normal prices will be too high. Also to watch on an android is a bit of a joke, this explains why its called google play now then as I had seen google market as an apps site and got confused when I got a prompt about google play.
Posted by Firefalcon over 3 years ago
Who wants to bet at least one of the studios is one of the ones hotfile are sueing for abuse of DMCA by issuing automated unchecked, unfiltered, takedown requests for material that doesn't belong to them? With the automation, unfiltered and wrongful claims all being illegal/offences under DMCA due to it being abuse of process?

How many days before articles appear saying hotfile was ripped down and the owner arrested
Posted by otester over 3 years ago
They created file-sharing as it is today (they promoted P2P clients - CBS/Disney/Time Warner etc.), like tommy45 said, it's about control over the internet, file-sharing being the Trojan horse, good to see others are waking up to smell the ashes.

Also, copyright/patent was never meant to be about authors being paid, it was about "the progression of arts and sciences" - US Supreme Court.
Posted by New_Londoner over 3 years ago
@Tommy
Fair enough for you voting with your wallet by not paying cinema / rental / DVD prices if you feel they are too high, this is the way the free market works. If enough people do this then the prices will (probably) adjust over time.

In the meantime though I hope you're not helping your self by downloading copies of said material anyway? This is no more moral or legal than deciding the price ASDA charges for chocolate are too high and going on a shoplifting spree instead.
Posted by otester over 3 years ago
@New_Londoner

First paragraph you were spot on but you seem to have contradicted yourself in the 2nd in regards to the free-market.

Wouldn't a better comparison be instead of buying chocolate from ASDA, you copy a friends chocolate?
Posted by tommy45 over 3 years ago
@New_Londoner There is a difference between downloading a copy of a film or music cd from the internet, & physically depriving someone of their property (theft) by downloading or creating copies of something is not the same thing, and therefore should never be regarded as theft, & if it was the same ,then cases would be heard in the criminal courts,and the likes of acs law would not be able to use extortion to get rich quick,and this DEA and ACTA would look really stupid too
Posted by tommy45 over 3 years ago
And further more any company claiming they have suffered losses due to copyright infringement,is based on speculation nothing more, and would not hold water in a court of law,And the more i hear about website blocking ect the more i'm inclined to go download/share copyrighted material, not because i want the product, but i wont be dictated too by the jumped up jack asses that seek to control the internets for their own gain be that financial or other
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