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September 13, 2011 12:36 PM   Subscribe

Warner Brothers Hotfile sues Hotfile Warner Brothers for copyright fraud.
posted by griphus (21 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is this the same Hotfile that was around a decade ago? If so, I had no idea it was still in existence.
posted by item at 12:40 PM on September 13, 2011


I think we need a three-strikes system for copyright holders who claim content they don’t own. Just disconnect their entire organization from the Internet for six months or so, that should teach them.

QFT
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:43 PM on September 13, 2011 [19 favorites]


I think we need a three-strikes system for copyright holders

How about revoking corporate charters?
posted by Mister Fabulous at 12:46 PM on September 13, 2011 [11 favorites]


Or simply revoking all the copyrights they hold.
posted by jeffburdges at 12:47 PM on September 13, 2011 [16 favorites]


You can't stop a natural process. The information will flow.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:49 PM on September 13, 2011


I already posted these related articles in the Aussie copyright thread, but maybe here makes more sense :

EU Council extends sound copyright from 50 to 70 years

Hurt Locker lawsuits come to Canada

Wikileaks' cable reveals extent of copyright lapdoggery by Swedish government

Jeremy Hunt (U.K.) wants Google to police copyright

U.N. says Britain’s Digital Economy Act violates human rights

Dangerous cybercrime treaty pushes surveillance and secrecy worldwide
posted by jeffburdges at 12:56 PM on September 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've made DMCA claims before - you have to swear an oath, by penalty of perjury, that you are (or represent) the copyright owner and that your claim to the content is valid. If they're wrongly making claims for hundreds of pieces of content that they have no valid ownership of, I hope they're getting charged severe penalties for each and every single one. This isn't mere retaliation or some cute "gotcha" on the part of Hotfile; perjury is a SERIOUS offense.
posted by naju at 1:06 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


perjury is a SERIOUS offense.

No, it really isn't.

Oh, sure, for your average person in court for a traffic ticket or something? Of course it's a huge deal, but for big players, i.e., large companies, it's decidedly not a big deal at all. Ask MERS, for example, about their millions of instances of perjury, or any bank that deals with foreclosures.
posted by odinsdream at 1:11 PM on September 13, 2011 [13 favorites]


See also: Welcome to Post-Legal America. See also: the corrupt patent system. See also: the correlation between sentencing and race.
posted by odinsdream at 1:14 PM on September 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


No, it really isn't.

I'm flashing on the Night Court episode where a temporary judge goes a little off the rails, and when Harry confronts him, replies

"The defendants lie, the police lie, the lawyers lie, everyone's a liar. liar liar pants on fire"
posted by nomisxid at 1:14 PM on September 13, 2011


Is this the same Hotfile that was around a decade ago? If so, I had no idea it was still in existence.

item, are you thinking of Hotline?
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 1:29 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


thanks a lot nomisxid - now i have to go listen to the theme song!
posted by symbioid at 1:30 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, it really isn't.

Well, okay. It should be!
posted by naju at 1:31 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


So Warner Bros used an automatic script to find infringing content and incorrectly pulled material that was too similar to the intended target. This, of course, must be intentional, the suit alleges, because Warner gets to put up a link to buy their products where the material has been taken down. And Warner's diabolical scheme has inappropriately removed how many files from the hundreds of thousands on Hotfile?

Hundreds.

Well, color me convinced.

I can respect Hotfile for being ballbusters to Warner, as a general rule, no problem. But the level of substance to the suit, and the accompanying moral outrage? Not so much.
posted by Amanojaku at 1:40 PM on September 13, 2011


Or simply revoking all the copyrights they hold.

A wonderful thought, but what I would expect to happen in that circumstance:
Every book, movie, and album would become their own corporation, holding the copyright of said item[*]. The Warner Brothers (and others) would be parent companies, owning all these sub corporations. If movie company "XYZ, Inc." makes an invalid DMCA claim and has its copyrights revoked, at worst they lose "XYZ", but all the parent company's other copyrights are still safe.

Still, it is nice to dream. I daydream of a return to 14 year copyright terms, myself.

[*] I believe this is already the case for movies, so that a movie can lose a bundle (on paper) while being very profitable for the parent company.
posted by fings at 1:49 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well to be fair, they were warned multiple times, and they ignored the warnings:

"Hotfile has repeatedly notified Warner about this issues, but instead of improving the takedown system the number of fraudulent takedowns only increased."
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:50 PM on September 13, 2011


perjury is a SERIOUS offense.
Lol
This, of course, must be intentional, the suit alleges, because Warner gets to put up a link to buy their products where the material has been taken down.
I don't think it matters if it's intentional or not. If you file an invalid DMCA request, you're breaking the law.
posted by delmoi at 6:48 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are many legal processes for which initiating prosecution without grounds should be a worse criminal offense than the original proposed offense, Amanojaku.

Yes, there should ideally have been an enormous bond by Warner Bros, which hotfile could simple shave off $1 to $5k per offense.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:40 PM on September 13, 2011


> item, are you thinking of Hotline?

Yup, I was. I used the everloving shit out of Hotline, circa 2000. I'd say I can't believe I got 'em mixed up, but it was a crazy time, what with Y2k and the ensuing chaos that came with it. I'm just lucky I got out alive, let alone with a decent P2P network.
posted by item at 5:20 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't think it matters if it's intentional or not. If you file an invalid DMCA request, you're breaking the law.

IANAL, but it actually does matter. They're not going to have any problem proving the Warner removed the files, but that's not the bulk of the suit. The rest of it -- that Warner did so intentionally, for the purpose of profiting from the affiliate links -- is going to be a stretch, and that's what's going to determine damages.

There are many legal processes for which initiating prosecution without grounds should be a worse criminal offense than the original proposed offense, Amanojaku.

I don't have a set position on this, but outside of wanting to make a political statement, I don't see why it should be the case here. Aside from scope and intent, from a legal standpoint, Hotfile and Warner have done almost the exact same thing: behaving as if they hold copyright on material that they actually do not. In one case, they made material available; in the other, they removed it.

Yes, there should ideally have been an enormous bond by Warner Bros, which hotfile could simple shave off $1 to $5k per offense.

That's not a bad idea, but I suspect the math on that still wouldn't work out well for Hotfile in the end, or bloody Warner's nose.
posted by Amanojaku at 5:32 AM on September 14, 2011


“The single file deleted by Warner that had been most frequently downloaded by Hotfile users—five times more frequently than any other file—was a freeware software title wrongfully deleted by Warner.

Does anyone know what the freeware is? Just curious ... (sorry if it's in the article and I missed it).
posted by mrgrimm at 11:03 AM on September 14, 2011


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