Disney Enterprises Inc., Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., Universal City Studios Productions, Columbia Pictures Industries and Warner Bros Entertainment Inc. on Tuesday filed suit at U.S. District Court in Miami, claiming Hotfile actively encourages users to upload and disseminate copyrighted content.
"Hotfile profits from this theft by charging a monthly fee to users who download content from its servers," the Motion Picture Association of America Inc. said in a statement. "Hotfile also operates an incentive scheme that rewards users for uploading the most popular files — which are almost exclusively copyrighted works. Hotfile profits richly while paying nothing to the studios for their stolen content."
The suit names as defendants Hotfile Corp. and its owner, Anton Titov.
Corbin Fisher's suit names Hotfile, Titov and about 1,000 of its customers, who are said to have engaged in massive copyright infringement by making available 2,400 links to the studio's titles.
That suit also said Hotfile has at least 800 of its films available on its servers traded by a "confederation of intellectual property thieves."
The Corbin Fisher 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."
The Corbin Fisher suit, filed at the same federal district court in Miami, seeks an injunction and damages against the defendants, as well as to freeze assets in Hotfile's Paypal account.
The mainstream Hollywood studios are seeking statutory damages that provide for up to $150,000 per infringement, as well as other remedies, including injunctive relief.