Corbin Fisher attorneys contend that Hotfile, which charges a membership fee of up to $55 per year, has at least 800 of its films available on its servers traded by a "confederation of intellectual property thieves." That number could get bumped up during rounds of discovery, Corbin Fisher attorneys say in the claim.
The suit hones in on Hotfile.com's self-described “one-click hosting” site, which doesn't provide an index of content and "represents an emerging model for stealing — and profiting from — others’ intellectual property."
The suit also makes charges that Hotfile operates its own affiliate system so that users recruit others to download files, breeding a "massive pyramid" where "veteran copyright infringers recruit new copyright infringers, while all infringers attract recruits to download the pirated intellectual property from which they receive a payment."
"Hotfile.com cleverly avoids cataloging or indexing the files in order to be willfully blind to their users’ uploads and downloads, while profiting from the site’s web traffic," said the suit, which also names Hotfile's operator, Anton Titov, and its web-hosting services company, Lemuria Communications Inc., purportedly owned by Titov.
The suit also names PayPal, which provides payments to Hotfile Inc.
Titov, according to the suit, is believed to be a Russian citizen who resides in Bulgaria and Amsterdam, as well as Miami Beach.
The suit charges copyright infringement and civil conspiracy against Hotfile, Titov, Lemuria, Paypal and the 1,000 unnamed Hotfile customers, who were named as John Does to the suit.
Filed at U.S. District Court in Miami, the suit seeks an injunction and damages against the defendants, as well as to freeze assets in Hotfile's Paypal account.
Corbin Fisher attorney Marc Randazza declined comment on the suit to XBIZ; Titov was not immediately available at post time.