Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Isohunt Becomes MPAA's Next Victim

Popular file-sharing search site isoHunt may be the next inline, behind sites like Mininova and The Pirate Bay, to fall to legal actions brought forth by the MPAA.

isoHunt has been in a long standing legal battle, one that the MPAA has won on many fronts. A federal court sided last year with the MPAA, ruling that Isohunt was liable for secondary copyright infringement. Gary Fung, the 27-year-old Canadian who runs isoHunt, said he and the MPAA are now battling over how to comply with the March 23 injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson in Los Angeles.

“It is axiomatic that the availability of free infringing copies of plaintiffs’ works through defendants’ websites irreparably undermines the growing legitimate market (.pdf) for consumers to purchase access to the same works,” Wilson wrote in support of his injunction. The judge added that “upwards of 95 percent of all dot-torrent files downloaded from defendants’ websites” return infringing material or works “at least highly likely to be infringing.”

Wilson ordered Fung to comply within his order within 14 days of the MPAA providing Fung a list of content to be removed giving the parties until April 12 to hammer out an agreement.

In order for Fung and isoHunt to comply with the judge's ruling the site would effectively have to investigate every single file and or link returned by the site's search engine to see whether it's legal or not. Unfortunately this type of hands on verification would be nearly impossible to implement. Therefore it looks like Fung will have little to no choice but to shutter the site for good.

“Filtering against keywords. It amounts to nothing less than taking down our search engine,” Fung said in a telephone interview with His position is that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) requires Hollywood and the MPAA to provide links to infringed files to be removed, nit just a simple keyword filter.

Keyword searches, he said, could scoop up non-infringing works adding such keyword filtering is nearly impossible to implement if it's to have any sort of precision, nor can it avoid conflict with fair use cases, free commerce, or extra-territorial law.

isoHunt is not the only site affected by the judge’s ruling. Torrent sites Torrentbox and Podtropolis may to be affected.

Read More:
ARS Technica - IsoHunt told to pull .torrent files offline, likely to close - Isohunt Ordered to Remove Infringing Content

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:53 PM

    I have something for those filthy MPAA jews to filter!


All comments will be moderate for content, please be patient as your comment will appear as soon as it has been reviewed.

Thank you