Warner Bros has admitted that it took down content from file-sharing site Hotfile that it did not own the copyrights to.

While it claims that some of these files were deleted because its filtering software was on the blink, the movie studio also conceded that it removed open source software that was used to speed up downloads.

The company's answer and defences document reads, "Warner admits that a file requested to be removed by Warner was software that had been posted alongside infringing Warner content in order to facilitate the rapid downloading of the infringing Warner content, and that Warner was not the owner of the software itself."

Warner botherers

What's more, Warner Bros said it removed files based on keywords without verifying that they related to its own content. For example, while searching for The Box, which it does own, Warner also issued take down requests for The Box that Changed Britain and Cancer - Step Outside of the Box neither of which it owns the rights to.

The studio blames "the volume and pace of new infringements on Hotfile" for its inability to "download and view the contents of each file prior to requesting that it be taken down".

Hotfile claims that it repeatedly notified Warner Bros that it was doing this, but the 'false takedowns' allegedly continued.

Even though it has admitted to these slightly shady take-down practices, Warner claims that it ought not to be punished because the files were pirated even if they didn't infringe on Warners' own copyrights.

It'll be up to the judge to decide what bearing this has on the ongoing court cases that see Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal, Columbia Pictures and Warner Brothers suing and being counter-sued by Hotfile.

From Torrent Freak via Pocket-Lint