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Movie Studios Sue Hotfile.com Over Infringement Claims

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Feb. 8 (Bloomberg) -- A Walt Disney Co. unit and four other movie studios sued the operators of Hotfile.com for copyright infringement, claiming the website facilitates the theft of motion pictures and television content.

News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., Universal City Studios Productions LLLP, Sony Corp.’s Columbia Pictures Industries Inc. and Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. joined Disney in the suit, according to a complaint filed today in federal court in Miami.

“Hotfile is a commercial online hub for distributing popular entertainment content without authorization, including hundreds of thousands of copies of the plaintiffs’ copyrighted works,” according to the complaint.

Users of Hotfile pay a monthly fee to download content, including movies playing in theaters, from the company’s computer servers, the studios said in their complaint. Hotfile is operated by Anton Titov, who is also a named defendant, according to the filing.

Titov and a Hotfile representative didn’t immediately return an e-mail message seeking comment.

The Motion Picture Association of America Inc. today announced the suit in an e-mailed statement.

The case is Disney Enterprises Inc. v. Hotfile Corp., 11-20427, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (Miami).

To contact the reporter on this story: Joel Rosenblatt in San Francisco at jrosenblatt@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David E. Rovella at drovella@bloomberg.net.

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