Surprise: MPAA Told It Can't Use Terms 'Piracy,' 'Theft' Or 'Stealing' During Hotfile Trial
from the a-bit-of-good-news dept
I knew that Hotfile had been pushing for this, but I'm somewhat happily surprised to see Judge Kathleen Williams of the US district court in Southern Florida grant Hotfile's motion to bar the MPAA from using "pejorative terms" in its copyright infringement case against the company. Among the words that the movie studios cannot use in describing Hotfile's activity: "piracy," "theft" and "stealing." We've been pointing out for many years how the industry has been using these kinds of misleading terms to influence pretty much everyone to their side, even though the terms are not even remotely accurate. Hotfile had reasonably argued that such terms could negatively influence the jury:
In the present case, there is no evidence that the Defendants (or Hotfile’s founders) are ‘pirates’ or ‘thieves,’ nor is there evidence that they were ‘stealing’ or engaged in ‘piracy’ or ‘theft.’ Even if the Defendants had been found to have directly infringed on the Plaintiffs’ copyrights, such derogatory terms would add nothing to the Plaintiffs’ case, but would serve to improperly inflame the jury.
The MPAA tried to argue that these were commonly used, but apparently the judge realized that using these misleading words really would be unfair. Hopefully other courts follow suit.