Talking at a copyright conference in New York last Friday, Paramount Pictures’ Alfred Perry said that Megaupload is just the first of many cyberlocker services Hollywood wants to be gone.
The exec identified Fileserve, MediaFire, Wupload, Putlocker and Depositfiles as targets that might be referred to the US Government next, describing these businesses as “rogue sites.” The announcement clearly came as quite a shock to these major players. After Putlocker refuted the claims earlier, today MediaFire responds to the allegations.
“It was both shocking and disappointing that Mr. Perry referenced us as a ‘rogue’ website,” MediaFire co-founder Tom Langridge told TorrentFreak.
“It’s my opinion that the inclusion of MediaFire was most likely the result of misinformation. We have already received very positive responses from people supporting us, both in and outside of the copyright industry, and we hope that the public and press will continue to challenge Mr. Perry’s assertions.”
Langridge goes on to explain that MediaFire is a storage and backup service that doesn’t promote or encourage copyright infringements in any way. The site has never paid users to upload content, and it doesn’t have download limitations to encourage people to convert to paid subscriptions either.
But mistake or not, being featured on a Hollywood hit-list these days is bad PR, and thus far the movie studio stands by its assessment. It even went as far as to include MediaFire on a poster of rogue cyberlockers.
Hollywood’s shutdown list
In their response, MediaFire stays classy. The company doesn’t see any point in throwing mud back at Hollywood and instead explains that they operate a perfectly transparent US company. A business that has proven to be useful to many legitimate customers.
“MediaFire is a US based company with a highly transparent business model and management team. MediaFire was founded by a group of reputable entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds who have a history of building innovative and valuable websites and technologies,” Langridge told us.
“Over the past several years, we have been focused on releasing numerous updates to MediaFire’s professional and business services. Just in the last month, we launched our document viewing system (in beta) and rebuilt our image system – not the kind of features that incentivize illegal activity.”
Of course MediaFire, like any other file-hosting service, can’t prevent copyrighted material from ending up on its website occasionally. However, the company has all the legally required tools in place for copyright holders to address these violations.
“MediaFire continues to cooperate fully with the MPAA, RIAA, and various other organizations who work to identify and prohibit the distribution of copyrighted content. We have a variety of advanced automated systems designed to detect violations of our Terms of Service and automatically warn and terminate users.”
“In fact, these systems have received rave reviews from organizations monitoring copyrighted content,” Langridge.
Unfortunately, this is no guarantee for escaping legal action. Both Hotfile and Megaupload were praised for their takedown policies on several occasions as well, but both later ended up in court.
MediaFire’s Langridge nonetheless believes that Hollywood’s allegations are “most likely an inadvertent result of misinformation.” While this sounds plausible after reading the above, we doubt that Paramount Pictures will retract their statements, let alone offer an apology.