The popular public torrent tracker TorrentSpy, currently in the middle of a legal battle against copyright owners, has decided to give in and start showing some level of good faith in the fight against piracy by adding a content filtering tool called FileRights.
Pressure is building on TorrentSpy after a judge recently ordered the search engine to log user activity to be handed as evidence. The company stated that it doesn’t keep any logs and therefore cannot produce any, but a judge has ruled that the necessary information is already stored temporarily in server RAM and they just need to record it. TorrentSpy is still fighting this ruling with the help of the EFF and the Center for Democracy & Technology. However, they appear to have abandoned the fight over filtering, hoping to prove to the courts that they have no desire to incite infringement.
FileRights will use file hashes provided to detect and automatically remove copyrighted material. It is being reported that ISOHunt, another US-based torrent search engine that has been battling against the movie industry for some time, also plans to use the hash-based system to filter pirated content from its search results. With FileRights, studios need to submit the file's name and hash code to automate the takedown process, however, hash codes can be altered and files renamed, so the outcome of this filtering tool remains to be seen.