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Hotfile to pay $80 million to studios in copyright settlement

Hotfile to pay $80 million to studios in copyright settlement
"Sites like Hotfile that illegally profit off of the creativity and hard work of others do a serious disservice to audiences, who deserve high-quality, legitimate viewing experiences online," said Chris Dodd, the Motion Picture Assn. of America's chairman and chief executive. (Jessica Hill / Associated Press)

Hotfile, one of the biggest file-sharing websites on the Internet, has agreed to pay $80 million in a settlement that ends film studios' litigation against the company, the Motion Picture Assn. of America said Tuesday.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, in addition to awarding the damages, ordered the site to shut down unless it starts using special technology to stop the illegal sharing of studios' content. The judgment comes after the court found Hotfile, and its principal Anton Titov, liable for copyright infringement in August.

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"This judgment by the court is another important step toward protecting an Internet that works for everyone," said Chris Dodd, the MPAA's chairman and chief executive. "Sites like Hotfile that illegally profit off of the creativity and hard work of others do a serious disservice to audiences, who deserve high-quality, legitimate viewing experiences online."

The MPAA sued Hotfile and Titov, a Florida resident, in 2011, alleging they violated federal copyright infringement laws by profiting from illegal downloads of movies and TV shows.

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