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MediaFire to Hollywood studios: We're no 'outlaw gang'

Company denies the allegations made by a Paramount exec, who included it in a list of top 'rogue' Web sites.

The studios have a list of the top five 'rogue' Web sites and MediaFire is among them. A MediaFire cofounder denies the company violates copyright law.
Greg Sandoval/CNET

MediaFire is no 'rogue' Web site and is not run by any criminal gang, says Tom Langridge, one of the co-founders of the file-hosting service.

In a letter to CNET, Langridge has responded to comments made on Friday by Alfred Perry, vice president of worldwide antipiracy for Paramount Pictures. Perry appeared on a panel during the On Copyright conference at Columbia University.

Perry told attendees that the studios "continue to make criminal referrals" to authorities regarding "rogue" cyberlockers. He also said that some sites that enable piracy are often operated by criminal gangs that oversee multiple criminal enterprises. After the panel, he gave CNET a list of the sites the studios consider rogue: Putlocker, Wupload, Depositfiles, FileServe, and MediaFire.

Langridge says these allegations are false. In the letter, he noted the differences between his company, founded in 2006, and the others on Perry's list, including MegaUpload. He said that MediaFire did not try to lure any "unscrupulous" former MegaUpload users who might have been looking for a new home following the shut down of that site in January by the U.S. government.

MegaUpload's founder Kim DotCom and six others have been accused of criminal copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering by the United States.

He said MediaFire cooperates with the trade groups of the major record labels and Hollywood film studios, boots people off the service for violations and has never paid users to upload content.

Langridge's letter is as follows:

MediaFire is not operated by an outlaw gang; we are in fact a group of reputable entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds who have a history of building innovative and valuable websites and technologies. Over the last several years, we have been focused on releasing numerous updates to MediaFire's professional and business services. For example, just in the last month we launched our document viewing system and rebuilt our image system - not the kind of features that incentivize illegal activity.

Unlike the other sites on Paramount's list (including MegaUpload), MediaFire doesn't artificially construct download limitations (speed, number of downloads, size, etc.) in order to drive subscriptions nor have we ever paid users to upload content. Our premium customers get the same transfer rates, servers, and resuming capabilities as our free customers. Our paid services enhance the feature set that is most relevant to professional and business customers like usage statistics, custom branding tools, and multi-seat accounts.

MediaFire cooperates fully with the MPAA, RIAA, and various other organizations who work to identify and prohibit the distribution of copyrighted content. We have a variety of advanced automated systems designed to detect violations to our Terms of Service and automatically warn and terminate users.

Many of these systems were updated, extended, and enhanced to deal with abuse stemming from unscrupulous users looking for a new venue following the shutdown of MegaUpload. These enhancements have received rave reviews from organizations monitoring copyrighted content.