The next front in the War on Internet Piracy? Online file sharing sites, apparently. The Motion Picture Association of America has filed a lawsuit against Hotfile.com on behalf of 20th Century Fox, Universal Studios, Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros, accusing the site of facilitating copyright infringement on “a staggering scale.”
The lawsuit actually goes further, suggesting that the site not only encourages illegal filesharing, but that it also discourages personal filesharing by incentivizing popular files, and that its membership fees mean that it itself is profiting from the illegal filesharing that happens on the site. MPAA general counsel Daniel Mandil said in a statement,
In less than two years, Hotfile has become one of the 100 most trafficked sites in the world. That is a direct result of the massive digital theft that Hotfile promotes. The theft taking place on Hotfile is unmistakable. The files are indeed ‘hot’ as in ‘stolen’.
The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday; similar sites such as RapidShare and MegaUpload are now at the center of rumors of future suits, and it’s being reported that Google is also receiving legal warning from the MPAA over illegal torrrents being downloaded by those using its WiFi service.
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