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Isohunt and the MPAA Knuckleheads

By - January 21, 2005

IsohuntIsohunt is a BitTorrent search engine, one of the many sites the MPAA is attempting to scare and/or litigate out of business. But the fellow behind Isohunt isn’t folding his tent and going home, he’s fighting. As Boing Boing points out, so far, he seems to have a far better grasp of the legal issues than does the MPAA. Isohunt simply helps people find stuff, it doesn’t host it. But the MPAA is trying to use the DMCA to force the site down. From the site owner’s response:

You repeatedly mention the “representative” list of works, which serves only to intimidate us as a search service. If you look at the Betamax vs. Universal case, the VCR was not deemed illegal since it is capable of legal use. isohunt.com is a content agnostic search service on indexing torrent links over the net, which is very much capable of legal use.

The implications here are significant, and this overall story is worth watching. Among other things, the dunderheads at the MPAA are trying to make linking to something illegal. That’s a dangerous precedent.


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7 thoughts on “Isohunt and the MPAA Knuckleheads

  1. Brian says:

    Purely for intellectual pleasure I venture here: The MPAA might like to argue that it is akin to keeping, and offering for free to any that come by, an up to date directory, a “yellow pages” if you will, of all worldly private market activity, including that of the black market. Certainly your directory contains the contact information for plenty of legal sources, but it also contains sources for obtaining illegal goods.

    Now, isn’t this exactly the service that Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and others are already offering? Why does the MPAA not go after them, as they are clearly offering information which leads to the obtainment and use of software which further leads to the obtainment and use of illegal goods. The reason behind this is clearly that the MPAA would rather make big news of little fish to spare their pocketbooks. As a matter of fact, this is precisely the behaviour they have been exhibiting over the last year or so by suing end-users and not, for example, ISPs or those with more bite than the MPAA has bark.

    As one who sides with the rights of the end-user in this case, and however irritating worrying about these fools may be, it may well turn out to be good for us in the end. As they pressure us to avoid using the current means available to obtain this so-called illegal content, we will be forced to come up with creative solutions ala Exeem.

  2. It’s good to know that Cory has his eye on this case. Isohunt is probably going to need the EFF’s help before it’s all over.

  3. ThaNerd says:

    My Trackback didn’t work, so here’s my permLink:
    Isohunt contre le MPAA (in french language).

    PS : what’s that answer from your trackback URL: You are pinging trackbacks too quickly. Please try again later.

  4. Dan says:

    Ha! Great article! Just browsing through isohunt and I spotted a nice banner add from Microsoft. I wonder if they know / care / support isohunt?

  5. Alexander says:

    indexing the torrents which just pointing to the file isnt illegal, you are 100% right on that, anybody really read the DMCA Law its like 500 pages long who would be crazy enough to read that shit. anyways google is indexing torrents onto it’s server’s so does every crawer that search’s torrents…i would love to nuke the MPAA :)

    a good way to remove these jerks is to block their MPAA ISP provider block every MPPA ip rang you can find that’s what am doing at mp4city :P

    laters, freedom for education

  6. MPAA says:

    ill use the cybercafe then lolz

  7. Gary says:

    Surely if the MPAA are doing this rubbish because ISOHunt index the .torrent files, surely they should be taking people like Google, who also index .torrent files to court as well. To me it sounds like big bully wanting to pick on the (useful) little site?

    Shame ISOHunt is down at the moment!