Hollywood studios sue Hotfile over copyright

NEW YORK Wed Feb 9, 2011 12:32pm EST

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Five Hollywood studios are suing a website that streams movies, accusing it of copyright infringement on a "massive scale".

Disney Enterprises Inc, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp, Universal City Studios Productions, Columbia Pictures Industries and Warner Bros Entertainment Inc on Tuesday filed suit against Hotfile Corp and Hotfile manager Anton Titov, according to documents filed with the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida Miami Division.

The Hollywood studios say that Panamanian Hotfile actively encourages users to upload and disseminate copyrighted content, and pays them to do so. They say that Hotfile has profited from the arrangement.

"Hotfile profits from this theft by charging a monthly fee to users who download content from its servers. 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 Motion Picture Association of America Inc said in a separate statement.

In less than two years of operation, Hotfile has become one of the most heavily-trafficked sites on the Internet, according to the filing.

The studios are seeking damages and injunctive relief, according to the filing.

(Reporting by Clare Baldwin; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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