The long running lawsuit brought on by the Motion Picture Association of America against cyberlocker storage website Hotfile has had a major development this week, as a judge has summarily ruled against Hotfile.
In 2011, the MPAA alleged that Hotfile willfully engaged in copyright infringement, even awarding users for uploading the most popular pirated files.
This week, a Southern Florida court entered a summary judgement against Hotfile, and even ruled that the site's owner and chief executive, Anton Titov, was personally liable for damages that could amount to tens and hundreds of millions of dollars.
Florida District Court Judge Kathleen Williams sided with the MPAA after the movie industry lobby group petitioned for a summary judgement back in March 2012, although details of the ruling has yet to be made public.
As expected, the MPAA welcomed the decision.
"We applaud the court for recognizing that Hotfile was not simply a storage locker, but an entire business model built on mass distribution of stolen content,'' MPAA CEO Chris Dodd said in a statement. "Today's decision is a victory for all of the men and women who work hard to create our favorite movies and TV shows, and it’s a victory for audiences who deserve to feel confident that the content they’re watching online is high quality, legitimate and secure."
Hotfile has yet to comment on the decision and it it unknown at this time whether the storage website, which is still in operation, will appeal the decision.