p2pnet.net news:- isoHunt is Canadian. This means it doesn’t fall under US legislation in any way, shape, manner or form.
But it’s being reported in some parts that, caving in to pressure from America’s DMCA, it’s signed up with FileRights which, on its site, says it, “allows rights owners to manage content on bittorrent search engines around the World” by maintaining, ” search filter lists of your content so that bittorrent search engines can automatically remove those results from their search results”.
It boasts it works with “some of the world’s largest websites to remove copyrighted material from their search results and video libraries,” among them, isoHunt and TorrentSpy.
“FileRights is an automated filtering system created by some of TorrentSpy’s founders,” says CNET News. “The technology uses ‘hash’ values to automatically remove links to infringing works from search engines that subscribe to the service.”
TorrentSpy is currently in the centre of a lawsuit which, if the entertainment cartels have their way, will open the Net to, “even more abuse from Time Warner, Viacom, Fox, Sony, NBC Universal and Disney, the major studios,” p2pnet posted yesterday, going on:
“TorrentSpy said it would never monitor users without their consent, but Hollywood succeeded in getting a US Court to rule that the site must, as part of electronic discovery obligations, log users’ activities.”
Here’s what isoHunt has to say about FileRights to clarify, “a lot of misinformed reporting and comments”:
First of all, we do filtering on links that’s been identified for various reasons. It maybe virus infected files in torrents, it maybe copyright owners requesting takedown of links to their material. For copyright takedowns, we’ve long had a copyright policy and procedure for it. This is not censorship on content, this is filtering for identified abuse. Although DMCA has often been used as a way to censor, that’s a problem with the DMCA and the “request and takedown” regime itself, and the way some websites blindly accept takedown requests.
While I claim to be no saint, we do random sampling on requested links and verify against the identity of the owner requesting their takedown. We have on occasions rejected requests due to situations like music companies requesting takedown of torrents that looks like porn. That also goes into problems of how do you know whether torrents are what they claim to be by their filenames, but that’s another issue.
On the recent news of our partnership with FileRights.com, some clarification on a lot of misinformed reporting and comments. We haven’t started using their database yet, the system is still being developed. The idea is to take some pain away from the current “email takedown request, verify links, respond” process to “establish identity as copyright holder or its agent once, use API’s to automate the requests, and we random sample the legitimacy of the requests”. Nothing more or less is done to our copyright policy for filtering based on identified, unauthorized links to copyrighted works. It’s not DRM and it’s not censorship. It’s to automate the process so it’s easier for content owners (request once instead of 100 different BitTorrent trackers and sites), and easier for us (verify and process once for multiple sites, and no need for legalese in emails).
If you don’t like it, take it up with your congressmen about the DMCA if you are in the US. Or, seed torrents of stuff that you produced, and no problems for any of us. Wink Bram Cohen did say something about BitTorrent not designed for piracy, and I think he’s right.
If your Net access is blocked by government restrictions, try Psiphon from the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk Centre for International Studies. Go here for the official download, and here for details. And if you’re Chinese and you’re looking for a way to access independent Internet news sources, try Freegate, the DIT program written to help Chinese citizens circumvent web site blocking outside of China. Download it here.
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Tired of being treated like a criminal? They depend on you, not the other way around. Don’t buy their ‘product’. Do bug your local politicians. Use emails, snail-mail, phone calls, faxes, IM, stop them in the street, blog. And if you’re into organizing, organize petitions, organize demonstrations and then turn up on your local political rep’s doorstep, making sure you’ve contacted your local tv/radio station/newspaper in advance. Don’t just complain. Do something!