The MPAA has taken a blow in its US court battle with online storage service Hotfile. A Florida judge has dismissed the film industry body’s claim that Hotfile is guilty of direct copyright infringement, although the case will now focus on whether it is responsible for inducing copyright infringement by its users. “Nothing in the complaint alleges that Hotfile or [founder] Mr. Titov took direct, volitional steps to violate the plaintiffs’ infringement,” said judge Adalberto Jordan. “There are no allegations, say, that Hotfile uploaded copyrighted material. Therefore, under the great weight of authority, the plaintiffs have failed to allege direct copyright infringement.” Hotfile and its founder may still be found guilty of secondary infringement, but The Hollywood Reporter explains that nixing the direct charge will have an impact on any damages bill. The MPAA says it will press for the secondary infringement charge to stick. “The fact remains that Hotfile and its operators facilitate the theft of copyrighted motion picture and television properties on a staggering scale and profit handsomely from encouraging and providing the means for massive copyright infringement.” Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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