In the ongoing court battle against Hotfile and its founder Anton Titov, a key claim made against the cyberlocker by the MPAA has been tossed out by the judge. The assertion by the MPAA that Hotfile has been a primary infringer of copyright has been ruled out by Florida Federal Judge Adalberto Jordan.
The claim was that since they control the servers, software and databases, plus have a reward system for crediting uploaders, that it was not only encouraging, but had a knowledge of copyright infringement, while also offering a financial interest, and thus should be liable for direct infringement.
Judge Jordan decided otherwise.
“To be sure, Titov and Hotfile allegedly encourage the massive infringement. Yet nothing in the complaint alleges that Hotfile or Mr. Titov took direct, volitional steps to violate the plaintiffs’ infringement,” The Hollywood Reporter quotes the judge as saying.
“There are no allegations, say, that Hotfile uploaded copyrighted material. Therefore, under the great weight of authority, the plaintiffs have failed to allege direct copyright infringement.”
The case still continues over secondary infringement claims. However, past cases have shown that secondary infringement can be protected under the DMCA’s ‘safe harbor‘ if content is removed when properly notified by a copyright holder.