The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is meant to promote “prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property.” According to the proponents of SOPA, such as the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the U.S.
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Warner Bros. on Monday admitted to removing content from Hotfile.com that Warner never even looked at and didn’t actually own. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), currently pending in the House of Representatives, give companies like Warner incredible new levels of power that they have never had under the DMCA. If Warner’s recklessness under the current legal framework shows us anything, it’s that Congress’ proposition to give these kinds of companies even greater power is about as sensible as parents giving to their teenager the keys to the brand new family car after he just got a DUI crashing the old one.
Hotfile, an online locker service, went beyond its legal obligations to accommodate movie studio Warner Bros. to take down infringing content from Hotfile’s site. Warner is even quoted as praising Hotfile’s efforts and suggesting that Hotfile provide the same service to other content owners. So what did Hotfile get in return? Warner wrongfully deleted files it didn’t own and then sued Hotfile with four other major studios, all represented by the MPAA, claiming Hotfile’s service carried out “unabashed theft” of their copyrighted works. Betrayed Hotfile is now fighting back with a counterclaim against Warner for DMCA violations and fraud.