Hotfile terminated by Paypal.

by Editor on January 21, 2013

Today Paypal took action to terminate it’s relationship with Hotfile.

Hotfile is one of the largest sites on the Internet. A site which has attracted criticism from numerous anti-piracy groups, rights holder associations and rights holders. Having been embroiled in litigation over allegations it encouraged and facilitated copyright infringement it should have expected this day to come.

Hotfilehome

Unfortunately it is too often the case that where we find a blatant disregard of copyrights we also find a blatant disregard of human rights.

Recently a young woman was raped in the presence of her partner on a bus in India, a crime which took the life of an innocent victim. The case sent shockwaves around the world as it was noted for it’s savagery and ferociousness. At the same time as the world condemned the mistreatment of women, Hotfile was busy allowing people to share content purporting to depict rape, torture, incest and bestiality.

While the MPAA was taking Hotfile to task for breaches of copyright, we took a holistic view of the systemic problems with the Hotfile service. After substantial examination and research we came up with one simple conclusion. Hotfile is a haven for the sharing of copyright and illegal content.

Paypal took the appropriate action against Hotfile and we would encourage any other payment processor considering doing business with this site to think twice before allowing Hotfile to continue.

We have captured a number of screenshots to illustrate the problems we found with Hotfile. These are a representative sample of problematic content being shared on the site. We have decided not to publish the most disturbing of what we found, however we believe that the examples below are bad enough.

Copyright Infringement

We found no shortage of copyright infringement at Hotfile. Popular titles such as Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Windows, Hollywood Movies, TV Shows, Popular Music and a whole lot more are shared routinely on the site.

PhotoshopHotfile

Breakingbadhotfile

Bigbangtheoryhotfile

Illegal Content

We also found a great deal of content which purported to be illegal in nature. Titles depict rape, incest, torture and bestiality.

Hotfilerape

Bestialityhotfile

Incesthotfile

Do not download these files as doing so is likely to be illegal.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

NordicNode January 22, 2013 at 8:45 am

Don’t you think you’re going about this from the wrong end?

Lets say for instance you took the same stance against guns. Guns are responsible for thousands of murders and accidental deaths each and every day. Guns themselves are often purchased and used lawfully. Guns themselves bare no responsibility towards their intended usage. So is it not the gun handler’s responsibility to use the gun lawfully and safely?

Lets also say for instance you manage to shut down Hotfile completely, what happens afterwards? We all know the story. For every cyberlocker taken down, another two pop up. You’re playing whack-a-mole on a global scale.

Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t care weather Hotfile, Mega, Wupload or any other third-rate file host close down or not. If you’re intent on sharing a file, there’s plenty of ways to do it without having to use a cyberlocker.

My point is, something as legal as a kitchen knife can be used illegally. To what point do you stop putting the blame on the service and start putting the blame on the users abusing it?

~NordicNode

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Jester January 22, 2013 at 12:33 pm

I commend you on your crusade against less savory files made available on the internet via sites like Hotfile, but as NordicNode quite adequately points out, the crime lies with intent – not the item itself. Hotfile, Megaupload, Rapidshare and the like are easy targets, but what’s stopping you from going after the more respected file-sharing systems like Microsoft’s SkyDrive or Google Drive?

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Christopher January 22, 2013 at 1:05 pm

You are farting against the wind here. The fact is that all filelockers (just like regular physical locker services) can be used for illegal purposes, that does not mean that they should be shut down nor that PayPal is justified in their outrageous demands to these companies for access should they wish to use PayPal.

It’s past time to bring PayPal under banking laws and standards, with the non-discrimination codicils inherent in those standards.

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Carlos Contreras January 23, 2013 at 3:38 am

You guys makes me laugh.

Piracy never going to stop, even if you stop lockers even torrent, you can control them as you made until now. If you doesn’t change your mind and bussiness focus there nothing to do. I also have copyright things, but everything it’s free and I win money by other ways like ads.

If you are going to close this ways to download things, there other ways like deep web that you can’t control, now is not popular, but if the people finds good way to share, believe me, this will be popular, and you know there are a lot of things that are dangerous for your childrens. Be carefull what are you doing.

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astro January 23, 2013 at 11:06 am

Really… You guys makes me laugh.

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Marc Dassel January 24, 2013 at 11:44 am

And YOU make me sick. Guys like you, pretending to fight a guerilla against “business” and “majors” but actually just want to get other people’s creations for free, are getting all artists, the whole creation, down. It’s a money world and until that fact changes (and you don’t want it to change because if you did you would be using your strengths to share revolutionary ideas, not your pathetic pirate website), everybody needs money to live. EVERYBODY: artists, creators as well.
I am making mobile games that are critically acclaimed, I sell directly (like most indie developers) i.e. I don’t go through any videogames publisher, so no major is making money from my games. Yet I am litteraly starving because of pirate websites, where I can see stats showing hundreds or even thousands of downloads of my game, whereas I barely sold a couple of dozens in the same time.
And ALL fellow indie developers, and indie composers and singers I know, face the same sad figures.
When all true creators will have stopped creating because the job doesn’t pay the bills, when all indie economies will have collapsed, when no one will enter such dead-end activity anymore, with what creative force do you think majors will go on producing the musics and movies you like?… There will be nothing left but a few mega-majors (the only ones financially strong enough to survive the collapse of the entertainment economy) with no creativity at all, no respect for the audience and only willing to make money, serving the same “soupe” over and over to everybody.
Then you will be fine with your pathetic mentality, and the full responsibilty of such artistic disaster.

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SiberX January 28, 2013 at 7:50 am

Marc, the minute you start treating your prospective customers like criminals is the minute they’ll start acting like them. It’s a good thing you have incontrovertible proof that every one of those hundreds or thousands of downloads of your game would have instead purchased your game at whatever price you have decided to set – otherwise you might have to face the reality of the fact that they would have *simply ignored your game entirely*.

As an indie developer, the biggest thing limiting your financial success is *nothing to do with piracy whatsoever* – it’s exposure. You have sold dozens of copies of your game? Scrabbling a few extra dollars out of them (or your supposed pirates) is going to do nothing positive for you or your company. What *will* help is a thousand people downloading your game, playing it, *enjoying* it, and then either buying it themselves (meaning your dozens of sales may at least partially come from the pool who downloaded it) or telling their friends about it, who will potentially purchase it and tell *their* friends about it.

Of course, making a pile of angry comments on an anti-piracy website lamenting the “dying” indie market is an obviously much better use of your time – time you’d otherwise have to spend doing things like getting the word out about your game, or developing new features or updates, or working on another game.

As a final speculative note, I have no idea what you’ve priced your game at, but considering your situation (*very* small indie developer who has sold only double-digits of copies, who sees at least a somewhat significant piracy percentage and who is making *mobile* games) you may want to examine if your price point is really set at the most valuable level. As I mentioned earlier, exposure is your biggest problem, and a high entry barrier is only going to compound that problem. Sell your game for a few bucks – you’ll sell more copies and get more word out, and you can produce a higher tier product next once you have a customer base that recognizes and trusts you.

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I.V. January 28, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Funny thing that it’s been shown that people that use P2P software buy more than the average consumer.
I know plenty of fellow artists and developers that are making record profits in small groups – I can only wonder about the quality and pricing of your products.

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wildwildwest January 30, 2013 at 10:22 am

I.V.: can you cite studies, a single study, any analysis that shows that pirates “buy more” than the average consumer?

I doubt it…

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Allan January 23, 2013 at 5:31 am

comments must be approved by the admin. this is a great example of freedom of speech ;)

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andy February 2, 2013 at 7:41 am

“Freedom of speech?” Don’t make me laugh. They’re trying to make us a new 1984 here. This all really DOES feel Orwellian to me.

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saro January 23, 2013 at 6:36 am

All Samsung Firmware files are hosted in hotfile!!! Stopfilelockers against Android developers

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Marc Dassel January 24, 2013 at 12:46 pm

And your apps/games are hosted on hotfile too!
Yup, and instead of giving ONE precious dollar to buy something that will entertain me for hours or will be of great service every day, I got it for free!

YEEPEE, I SAVED ONE DOLLAR! NOW I’M RICH (and I have enough money to wisely invest it into buying ALMOST one Lion Bar from a vending machine, because one Lion bar that will make me obese obviously worth more than a great game or a usefull app)
AND BEST OF ALL, I AVOIDED GIVING MY MONEY TO SOME EVIL MEGA-CORPORATION!… (because as everybody knows, NestlĂ© from which I bought the Lion bar, is NOT an evil mega-corporation)

Oh… what? The lion-share of this dollar would not have gone to a mega-corporation, but to a single developer trying to live from it?…

(S***, my lame excuse doesn’t stand anymore.)

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Lindsay January 23, 2013 at 8:31 am

I am astonished someone is going after Companies whose only ‘sin’ is they are providing a storage in the cloud. If you have evidence of lawbreaking, go after the offender. Remembering that criminal acts depend on jurisdiction; not all crimes in one realm are such in another. This website reminds me of big brother.

Suspicion of wrong-doing is not evidence of wrong-doing.

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Marc Dassel January 24, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Yeah and you find acceptable that companies are making big bucks from other’s people creations. Great mentality.
When there will be no creation anymore in any entertainment because no author will make money from their own creations anymore, maybe you will start thinking that these companies whose only ‘sin’ is to provide easy sharing without decent identification policy and with a blatant disrespect of intellectual rights (contrary to Google’s Drive, Dropbox or MS Skydrive), would have needed to be gone after a little more.

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Busdriver January 28, 2013 at 11:16 am

‘you find acceptable that companies are making big bucks from other’s people creations’

Seems to be just fine when the record companies do it.

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Iva Problem January 29, 2013 at 2:41 am

So banks, who store money that *may” be used for illegal purposes, should also be shut down, given your shortsighted, simple-minded methodology.

Real smart. I’d expect a higher degree of intelligence from a “developer.”

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Legalise NZ January 23, 2013 at 8:41 am

Might as well shut down the entire internet then aye?
But good on ya, I agree these sites seem bad – copyright and illegal material should not be so easy to get hold of. Just force them into the darknet is what you’re doing.

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Insider January 23, 2013 at 8:55 am

Great news! But I already posted some days ago, why the hell are there still newer filehosts that care shit about DMCA notices and still can process with PayPal like for example vidpe?

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Steve January 23, 2013 at 9:13 am

You’re a c*cksucker

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Choose Another Nickname January 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm

I “searched” for one of your alleged copyright infringement file in google. Unusually I was able to find that file ONLY on hotfile. Also I wasn’t able to find that link posted in anywhere. (assuming I found the link you posted)

Then I “searched” for another alleged copyright file (not on your site, I “searched” for a very popular TV Show) and I was able to find the same file in “multiple” cyberlockers. So my point is its highly unlikely for such a file to be uploaded in ONLY ONE SITE. Its common that people who upload such content always upload it to multiple hosts at once.

What do we make of that?

PS: This question is directed for SFL. I hope you will answer this question in public and my comment will accepted and published.

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Editor January 23, 2013 at 12:54 pm

We see as many examples of content being only uploaded to one file locker as we see content being uploaded to multiple file lockers. There are currently tens of thousands of pieces of copyright content hosted at Hotfile that are also able to be found using public search engines.

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Wayne Carr January 24, 2013 at 2:20 pm

It will take google a bit before it starts indexing all the mega.co.nz links. Should be interesting to see the link removal reports google receives about the new mega.

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andy February 2, 2013 at 7:53 am

Can I have a say on the musical side too please?

Sometimes, record companies DO FORCE US TO BE PIRATES. Take me as the best example: I don’t condone piracy.
But do I have a choice? I’m a fan of real obscure music, also forgotten artists from the 80s and 90s. However, some of the record companies (or usurpators like Verse Music Group who “swallowed” Salsoul) will only give you re-recorded versions or some literally “recompressed to death” ones (for so called modern way of listening).

So, if you DO want the original as produced, you will sometimes have to resort to vinyl. Yes, right: some of these are VINYL ONLY. I could also name you quite a few from Post Punk or (underground) New Wave that have this “issue”.
However for me it makes no sense to buy me a turntable, since I want to take my music on the road. And I don’t have time to rip stuff either.

So you guessed it. I have to download an ILLEGAL rip from some obscure copyright-infringing site just because the record companies line our paths with big and sharp rocks. Deliberately, to sell their remastered crap .(which usually bites me in the ears, since nearly the whole dynamic range was destroyed by their digital gear ordered by A&R managers which define “good sound” as “sounding good in their tuned-up cars” (remembering most A&R managers appear to have the education level of a disco club doorman, just getting on top by the “rags to riches” way)).

But for people who even spent quite a lot of money for natural sound, this is a nightmare.
And the LP rips are excellent, in that respect. The CD “demasters” usually are not.

So you may call us “criminals” further on, and as long as you with, but hell yeah, remember that the world is not just black and white.

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Di Keller May 20, 2013 at 8:45 pm

What a load of garbage, you say you don’t condone piracy , but you pirate because the record companies make you. ??? You only listen to obscure music, only available on vinyl :lol: But you don’t think it is worth getting a turntable. ??? Personally I never got ride of mine. It may take time to rip, but that would be what I would expect a true music lover to do.

This attitude that you HAVE TO pirate is just ridiculous. :lol:

You want special things they are worth the time and money. It is incredibly gratifying to be able to rip a good copy from vinyl. This is heaps of good free software out there to do it. You just want convenience, it’s too much trouble for you to do it legally.

I don’t know how I can say on this site but i would really like to say you look like an incredible wanker :lol:

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