Only a few hours after it was revealed that cloud-based file-sharing destination Hotfile has agreed to pay $80 million to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) as part of a settlement for a trial set to begin next week, the site went offline. Not only did the site go offline, but it took all of the user content being stored on its servers with it. Users who stored legal personal and business-related documents are now left in much the same situation that Megaupload users were left in, but this time it can't be blamed on anyone except the service provider.
Visiting the site will give users the following message:
“As a result of a United States Federal Court having found Hotfile.com to be in violation of copyright law the site has been permanently shut down. If you are looking for your favorite movies or TV-shows online, there are more ways than ever today to get high quality access to them on legal platforms.”
TorrentFreak points out that the notice is similar to the one isoHunt displayed last month following its defeat at the hands of the movie studios. The similarities suggest that both messages were drafted by the MPAA.
Samsung firmware provider SamMobile, one of Hotfile's customers, has been forced to move its files to another hosting provider with a two day break in service expected.
“It will take at least 48 hours before we’re able to finish uploading all firmware, so do forgive us if you’re unable to get that firmware you wanted to download for the next couple of days,” SamMobile notes.
We will have more on this story as it develops. Hotfile has not publicly commented on this latest development, nor has it made public comment on the settlement.