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Hotfile sues Warner Brothers

Good for the goose, good for the gander
Tue Sep 13 2011, 15:31

DIGITAL LOCKER web site Hotfile is suing Warner Brothers for fraud and abuse by manipulating its anti 'piracy' takedown tool.

Hotfile has filed papers in which it accuses the film and music company of taking down hundreds of titles despite not actually owning the rights to them or the rights to request that they be removed, and harassing it.

According to Torrentfreak Hotfile is requesting compensation from Warner Brothers and is after damages caused by the firm. It is worth noting that Warners Brothers and four other companies are suing Hotfile for alleged copyright infringement offences.

The last successful hit saw Hotfile forced to hand over some of its users' details, but it is not going down without a fight.

"Not only has Warner (along with four other major motion picture studios) filed this unfounded and contrived litigation against Hotfile employing overly aggressive tactics, Warner has made repeated, reckless and irresponsible misrepresentations to Hotfile falsely claiming to own copyrights in material from," Hotfile said in court papers.

"Worse, Warner continued to make these misrepresentations even after Hotfile explicitly brought this rampant abuse to Warner's attention, ruling out any possibility that its wrongful actions were accidental or unknowing."

According to the report Warner Brothers abused something called a Special Rights Holders Account that can be used by rightsholders to remove their own material. Warners took its rights too far however, and claimed to own content that did not belong to it.

This led to some successful takedowns for it, but lost business for Hotfile as in some cases the wrong unchallenged material was also removed.

"The single file deleted by Warner that had been most frequently downloaded by Hotfile users - five times more frequently than any other file - was a freeware software title wrongfully deleted by Warner," it added in its complaint.

"The software publisher that uploaded the file used as a means for distribution of its open source software. Warner was not authorized by the software publisher to delete the file."

Hotfile has demanded that a grand jury look into the case. µ


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