Sometimes referred to as cyberlockers, download hubs like Hotfile bear no resemblance to legitimate online locker services. In fact, Hotfile openly discourages use of its system for personal storage. Hotfile's business model encourages and incentivizes users to upload files containing illegal copies of motion pictures and TV shows to its servers and to third-party sites, so unlimited users can download the stolen content - in many cases tens of thousands of times. Hotfile profits from this theft by charging a monthly fee to users who download content from its servers. Hotfile also operates an incentive scheme that rewards users for uploading the most popular files - which are almost exclusively copyrighted works. Hotfile profits richly while paying nothing to the studios for their stolen content.
Hotfile is operated by Anton Titov, a foreign national residing in Florida. The studios are suing Hotfile and Titov for direct infringement for unlawfully distributing copyrighted works, inducement of infringement, contributory infringement and vicarious infringement, for actively promoting, enabling and profiting from their users' copyright infringement. A civil lawsuit has been filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida for damages and injunctive relief for violations under the United States Copyright Act of 1976.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: email@example.com.