February 18, 2011 at 05:00 AM EST

The MPAA’s legal battle against the illicit sharing of movies and TV opened a new front on Feb. 8 when it filed a copyright suit against the file-hosting website Hotfile on behalf of five major studios: Disney, Fox, Universal, Columbia, and Warner Bros. While the industry has taken on BitTorrent sites in the past, this is the first time the MPAA has sued a digital storage service, which users can access without downloading any software.

The lawsuit was filed in Miami — Hotfile owner Anton Titov is a Florida resident even though his company is based in Panama — and alleges that Titov and the site ”actively encourage their users to upload to Hotfile’s computer servers infringing copies of the most popular entertainment content in the world,” including Inception, Grey’s Anatomy, and The Social Network. The studios are seeking damages, but the suit does not specify how much. Hotfile did not respond to a request for comment.

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