Google Battles Movie Industry over Copyright Issues


The MPAA and Google are butting heads over copyright once again. The MPAA has taken the stance that Google’s Hotfile is the same as Megaupload, and should be removed for copyright violations. However, Google is stating that Hotfile deserves the same level of legal protections currently reaped by its website YouTube. This dispute is another example of Google becoming more and more aggressive in terms of attempting to influence the entertainment industry’s legal battles in court.

Google’s goal in interfering with the MPAA case is simple. They want the judge to be careful about the entertainment industry’s interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), specifically in regards to the safe harbor from liability clause provisions that protect ISPs. Google has maintained that the DCMA puts the responsibility of copyright policing on the copyright holders.

In a bold move to influence copyright legislation, Google filed an amicus brief in the MPAA’s Hotfile lawsuit. The amicus brief, which first appeared on TorrentFreak, states that the DMCA should remain as intended, and that until copyright owners have proof of infringement and notify the sites of the infringement, the ISPS – like Hotfile – have safe harbor from copyright claims. This safe harbor is removed if the ISPs fail to respond to the complaints of the copyright holders.

Google submitted the amicus brief to rehash its interpretation of the DCMA. The MPAA is objecting to the brief, claiming that Google is acting as a partisan advocate for Hotfile and attempting to influence the law in its own favor. Hotfile and Google share the same attorney. The MPAA seeks to have Google’s amicus brief denied.

For those familiar with Google’s legal stances, the argument isn’t foreign. It is the same one that media company used to successfully defend YouTube in a billion-dollar lawsuit by Viacom (a case that is currently being appealed).