Google defends Hotfile and Megaupload
In the wake of the bust on the file sharing site Megaupload, many similar sites have been proactively shrinking or shutting down altogether rather than get busted and the operators sent to prison. But one site, Hotfile, is fighting back and suing the Motion Picture Association of America after the MPAA tried to get Hotfile shut down. Hotfile now has a new friend, a pretty big one, in Google, which filed a friend of the court brief, arguing that Hotfile is protected under the safe harbor provisions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Google takes a sort of hard-line approach via the DMCA, telling the court that however the MPAA may try to mislead them, Hotfile is in fact protected under safe harbor provisions. And furthermore, Google suggests that the MPAA’s approach is contrary to the language in and precedents surrounding the DMCA. The onus is on copyright holders to alert a service to the nature and location of an infringement, and the service’s responsibility is to alert the user if possible and remove the material within a reasonable period of time.
This action by Google is seen as an indirect statement of support for Megaupload as well, broadly arguing that the service can’t be seen as a copyright violator since its not responsible for all of the actions of all of its users.
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