In a Monday court filing, Warner Brothers admitted that it has issued takedown notices for files without looking at them first. The studio also acknowledged that it issued takedown notices for a number of URLs that its adversary, the locker site Hotfile, says were obviously not Warner Brothers' content.
Hotfile has been locked in a legal battle with Hollywood studios since February; the studios accuse the site of facilitating copyright infringement on a massive scale. Hotfile counters that it is immune from liability for the infringements of its users because it complies with the notice-and-takedown procedures established by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. But Hotfile has also tried to turn the tables by arguing that one of the studios, Warner Brothers, has itself violated the DMCA by issuing bogus takedown requests.
The studio also "admits that it did not (and did not need to) download every file it believed to be infringing prior to submitting the file's URL" to the Hotfile takedown tool. That's because "given the volume and pace of new infringements on Hotfile, Warner could not practically download and view the contents of each file prior to requesting that it be taken down."