File-sharing site and Megaupload competitor Hotfile is in hot water. A group of major entertainment companies has asked the U.S. District Court to make a summary judgement in a year-long case against the company.

Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Studios, Columbia Pictures, and Warner Brothers filed a suit against Hotfile in February of 2011, saying the file-sharing site isn’t doing enough to deter copyright infringement, and that it operates similarly to Megaupload. The latter company was recently taken down by the FBI, and its executives were arrested for copyright infringement and money laundering. Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom was singled out for having made a huge profit from copyrighted material, in addition to actually paying people to upload copyright protected content.

According to Ars Technica, these five entertainment companies are also pointing fingers at Hotmail owner Anton Titov, saying he too is receiving financial gain from copyrighted material and not doing enough to stop its distribution.

“Defendants protest that Hotfile is not like Napster, Grokster, Limewire, and other notorious infringers. But the differences make Hotfile’s infringement more egregious, not less. No earlier pirate services had the temerity to actually pay its users to upload infringing content, Hotfile does,” said the companies in their filing.

Hotfile counter-sued in September 2011, saying it had put in place technology from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and provided various avenues for people to complain about copyright infringement. It also claimed Warner Brothers requested the removal of content that did not actually belong to the production studio. The entertainment companies, however, said Hotfile’s practice was “mind-boggling,” citing “billions of infringing downloads.”

A summary judgement would end the case where it stands, either adding to the fire already started by the Megaupload take-down, or giving hope to similar companies preparing for legal battle.

via Ars Technica

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