Thanks to an $80 million lawsuit between Hotfile and the MPAA, a judge just ordered Warner Brothers to unseal records that explained the inner workings of their super secretive system to takedown pirated content. Now, the secret’s out, and the secret is “robots.” Court filings reveal that Warner Bros. employs an army of “robots” not only to hunt down pirated content on the internet, but to mimic human behavior as they do it.
It’s been nearly a year since Hotfile was defeated by the MPAA, but the case hasn’t gone away completely yet. As part of their $80 million settlement agreement with the movie studios, the file-hosting service also let the counter-suit over Warner Bros. alleged DMCA-abuse go. This meant that the true workings of Warner Bros. takedown systems remained secret, since many of the court filings were heavily redacted. Arguing that the public has the right to know how Warner operated, the Electronic Frontier Foundation therefore asked the court to unseal the records. Warner Bros. objected to this request, arguing that the effectiveness of their anti-piracy technology would be undermined by a public disclosure. However, two weeks ago U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams ordered that it’s in the public interest to unseal the information.