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Court Rules "Locker" Site Is Not Direct Copyright 45

suraj.sun writes "A federal judge in Miami has dismissed direct copyright infringement charges against Hotfile, a popular online "locker" service that the major Hollywood studios allege is responsible for massive copyright infringement. But he allowed the case to proceed on charges that Hotfile has induced and profited from the infringing activities of its users. The case, which began in February, represents the latest front in the never-ending arms race between Hollywood studios and users seeking free copies of their movies. Hotfile is a "cyberlocker" site. Users upload files they wish to share with others and are rewarded financially if these files prove popular. The studios allege that the overwhelming majority of the files users upload to Hotfile are copyrighted content being distributed without the consent of copyright holders' like themselves."
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Court Rules "Locker" Site Is Not Direct Copyright

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  • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <> on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @09:40AM (#36732830)

    This is fairly standard given current law, and is the "easy" part of the win. Hosts of these kinds of user-driven content sites (e.g. YouTube) are not themselves considered to be violating copyright when copyrighted material ends up on them. The harder part is that sites alleged to be largely organized around promoting infringement can be held liable, under circumstances not completely clarified, for some variety fo inducement or contributory infringement. The Napster case was the leading one in that area.

    So the fact that they got direct-infringement charges dismissed doesn't mean a whole lot, for better or worse; that was mostly a foregone conclusion, and I'd guess was thrown in just on the off chance that plaintiffs would get lucky with their draw of judges. The controversial part of the case, whether Hotfile is more Napster-like or more YouTube-like, is still to come.

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