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MPAA file against more torrent and usenet sites

By Spike
Feb 24, 2006
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  1. Feb 23rd 2006

    Movie monolith, the MPAA, has issued a press release announcing that it has filed seven lawsuits in what appears to be the next round in the war between movie studios and p2p networks. Specifically, the press release cites TorrentSpy and ISOHunt as two of the websites it hopes to takedown.
    You would be forgiven for thinking that ISOhunt was yet another tracker site, but in fact it merely indexes the torrents on other trackers, in much the same way that a search engine indexes web pages. Does this constitute an illegal copyright infringement? I'll leave it to you to decide, based on ISOHunts own copyright policy...
    Gary (whose surname may or may not be Fung), administrator of ISOHunt, has posted an immediate response to the MPAA announcement, on the front page of the torrent indexing site...

    In the very same response, he remarked that "isoHunt.com and TorrentBox.com, are forming a coalition together with other P2P operators being sued and yet to be sued, and if possible with the help of the EFF," in order to take on the legal challenges of the MPAA.

    Given that even search giants such as Google and MSN provide links to torrents (if you search for torrents) and that there is obviously some debate as to whether or not ISOHunts copyright policy infringes on the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, it could be interesting to see how the dust settles when it's all over.

    It is also the "first time the MPAA is taking (*sic) action against sites enabling users of Newsgroups to easily find and download illegal content", which given that even some ISPs offer usenet access is a very wide-ranging mission statement, with some potentially far reaching consequences.
  2. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 25,948   +19

    Nice article Spike.

    It would seem that it`s only a matter of time for p2p/torrent networks.

    The fact that ISOhunt as well as other torrent sites don`t actually have the copyrighted material per se, doesn`t really make any difference. The owners of theses sites know full well that what they are doing is aiding people to steal copyrighted material. That in itself may well be illegal, as it could be construed as being an accessory to theft.

    As far as I`m concerned, if they get taken down. They`ve only themselves to blame.

    Regards Howard :)
  3. Spike

    Spike TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 2,371

    Thanks Howard, very much appreciated :D

    I very much agree with you on the morality of the issue - these people know exactly what they're doing. I'm especially convinced of that in terms of premium torrent sites and usenet "distributors" that profiteer from such infringing material. I worry though over where this all is going in the long term.

    The moral side is quite clear cut in most cases, but the legal side is a lot more complicated. Ultimately you can't blame only the MPAA and Co. for the kind of action they take against both these sites and individual users, but niether can you blame soley these p2p sites for the legislation and precedent resultant for the whole affair, which is becoming more and more draconian while doing little to solve the problem. Sadly it's gone past the point now where technology takes a back seat to DRM (which will never be foolproof), and the only people either party hurts is the consumer. Only time (and results) can tell where this is going, but in my opinion there are moral arguments on both sides, and both sides are ultimately in the wrong. Time will tell.

    edit: Incidentally, on reading the blurb at the bottom of that press release (Thought I better had, just for good measure after reading its content twice already), it seems the MPAA in an ironic twist have "secret" advertising in it - clicking just at the top of the second or third page you get a browser window to http://pdf.iteksoft.com
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