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File-hosting service Hotfile agrees to pay movie studios $80 million in piracy settlement

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Hotfile's days appear to be numbered. The cyberlocker service today settled its lawsuit with major movie studios and will be required to shut down unless it can effectively implement "digital fingerprinting" technologies that prevent users from uploading copyrighted films to its servers. Worse yet for owner Anton Titov, his company must pay out a colossal $80 million in damages to major movie studios. The judgement marks the end of a high-profile legal battle between the Motion Picture Association of America and Hotfile — one which has swung momentum in the MPAA's favor as it continues its quest to keep pirated movies off of file-hosting services.

A big victory for the movie studios

The MPAA claims the case, which was initially decided back in August, marks the "first time a US court has ruled on whether so-called cyberlockers like Hotfile can be held liable for their infringing business practices." US District Judge Kathleen Williams previously revealed that Titov's service had received 10 million DMCA notices before the lawsuit was filed in 2011.

MPAA chairman Chris Dodd wasted no time in boasting about the victory. “This judgment by the court is another important step toward protecting an internet that works for everyone,” Dodd said in a statement. “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." This is just the latest in a string of legal wins for the MPAA; Isohunt shut down in October following a court battle with the association.