In a landmark case, it’s suing Canadian RIAA clone the CRIA (Canadian Recording Industry Association of America), asking a court in British Columbia to make the first ruling on whether or not BitTorrent search engines should be held liable for .torrent files that might link to copyrighted data.
In May 2008, the CRIA launched a Cease and Desist order at isoHunt, demanding founder Gary Fung (right) shut the site down, says TorrentFreak, going on, “If Fung didn’t comply, the CRIA said it would pursue legal action, and demand $20,000 for each sound recording the site has infringed.”
But, the story continues, “Fung has pointed out that, like most other BitTorrent sites, isoHunt has a Copyright Policy, and takes down .torrent files when they receive an appropriate request. The CRIA simply ignored this, even though they have sent correct takedown notices to isoHunt before (and isoHunt complied), and continued to threaten with legal action.
“As an act of self-defense, isoHunt has decided to sue the CRIA instead”.
‘No control over the files’
Yesterday, Fung asked the Court of British Columbia to rule isoHunt and sister sites Torrentbox and Podtropolis don’t infringe copyright, says the story, quoting Fung as declaring »»»
This is our preemptive strike with a narrowly defined petition for Declaratory Relief that we do not infringe, in anticipation they are going to file their own lawsuit that we do infringe (their copyright). Our petition summarizes BitTorrent technology, its open nature and a whole ecosystem of websites and operators that has developed around it, that CRIA does not own copyright to all files distributed over BitTorrent or on isoHunt websites, and we seek legal validation that we can continue to innovate within this emerging BitTorrent ecosystem on the Internet.
Think of this as a follow up to the QuebecTorrent case. We intend to take this all the way up to the Canadian Supreme Court unless CRIA settles with us out of court in any reasonable way, Fung said There are some interesting parties in Canada in our camp I`m not disclosing yet, this is going to make an interesting case and the most important copyright case in Canada currently.”
Among other things, “isoHunt argues that they are just a search engine, like Google, and that they have no control over the files they find elsewhere on the web,” says TorrentFreak, adding:
“The site is indexing other BitTorrent trackers and indexers, without human intervention, and allows its users to find content that is scattered across the web.”
‘End of online freedom of speech in Canada’
In another landmark first-of-its-kind case centering on hyperlinks, p2pnet is waiting for a BC court to rule on whether or not linking to a site containing allegedly defamatory material constitutes publication of the material and, in effect, defamation by default.
Vancouver businesman Wayne Crookes claims p2pnet defamed him when it linked to sites containing articles which, well, defamed him, he says.
“If he wins, it`ll be quite literally the end of online freedom of speech in Canada,” said the story.
“Without hyperlinks, the World Wide Web would be nothing but a sterile series of computers.”
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