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The Courts Piracy

Hotfile Settles With MPAA, Drops Countersuit Against Warner Bros 88

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the some-heads-are-gonna-roll dept.
After winning the right to use the term perjury in regards to Warner Bros abuse of the DMCA takedown procedure, and successfully blocking the MPAA from using the term "piracy" at their trial, Hotfile settled out of court with the MPAA today (mere days before the trial was scheduled to begin). As part of the deal, they are dropping their countersuit against Warner Bros, paying $80 million, and halting all operations immediately. The Hotfile website has been replaced by an MPAA message. From Torrent Freak: "The settlement deal was rubber stamped by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, ... The MPAA is happy with the outcome which it says will help to protect the rights of copyright holders on the Internet. 'This judgment by the court is another important step toward protecting an Internet that works for everyone,' MPAA boss Chris Dodd says."
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Hotfile Settles With MPAA, Drops Countersuit Against Warner Bros

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  • by jeffb (2.718) (1189693) on Wednesday December 04, 2013 @01:08PM (#45596749)

    So, after winning the right to use an incendiary term in trial, and blocking their opponents from using another incendiary term, Hotfile... rolled over?

  • surprising (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@noSPam.hackish.org> on Wednesday December 04, 2013 @01:15PM (#45596867)

    The most surprising thing to me here is that Hotfile was profitable enough to have $80 million.

  • by Bacon Bits (926911) on Wednesday December 04, 2013 @01:39PM (#45597227)

    This is a civil trial. Perjury is a criminal offense, and prosecution must be brought by the state.

  • Re:Whoah there! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 04, 2013 @01:53PM (#45597411)

    I've had people commit perjury against me in court. Judge didn't do shit. I was able to prove that they had forged a "sworn testimony" against me from a 3rd party by showing that the dates that it was dated outside the scope of when that 3rd party would have had any dealings or knowledge about the case. All the judge did was dismiss that single piece of evidence. You can get away with perjury all you want because judges don't care (they're used to being lied to) and juries will almost NEVER convict someone of perjury -- so good luck getting a DA to prosecute. There is no real defense for an honest man in court against a dishonest man.

  • Jurisdiction (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Adrian Lopez (2615) on Wednesday December 04, 2013 @01:54PM (#45597421) Homepage

    How does a US federal court gain jurisdiction over a company located in Panama?

    A ruling prior to this settlement held that Hotfile could be subject to vicarious liability for failing to comply with the DMCA (they allegedly ignored a bunch of DMCA takedown requests and failed to shut down a bunch of accounts despite repeat infringements), but the DMCA is US law, not Panama law. Unless copyright is somehow a special case (due to, say, international agreements), I fail to see why Hotfile should be subject to US copyright law anymore than US companies should be subject to Chinese or Iranian censorship laws.

    What gives?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 04, 2013 @01:55PM (#45597427)

    The MPAA message says that a federal court found Hotfile liable. The court didn't find anything because the parties settled before trial began. It seems a little disingenuous, but perfectly within the normal bounds of the MPAA playbook, to blatantly lie like that.

  • Re:"Everyone" (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rnturn (11092) on Wednesday December 04, 2013 @01:55PM (#45597435)

    Yep... Dodd also has a different definition of "works" than a lot of people would find to be appropriate. His definition appears to refer to "a mechanism that closes off content until rich folks' palms are greased with enough silver". When he says "works" he's not saying that it does anything for content creators after their initial legal contact with publishers.

  • Re:term (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday December 04, 2013 @02:17PM (#45597717) Homepage Journal

    Seven years? Kid, seven years is nothing. How old are you, fourteen? I just published Nobots [mcgrewbooks.com] last month, have been working on it since 2009. I'd have a two year copyright.

    The Paxil Diaries aren't even in print yet but the copyright would have expired.

    Asimov's Foundation trilogy was out for ten years before Asimov made a dime from it.

    The present copyright term is way too long and harms creativity and culture, but your length is equally ridiculous. Make it twenty years, same as patents.

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