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Piracy Case Could Change Canadian Web Landscape 156

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the embrace-file-sharing-already dept.
meatheadmike writes to tell us that a recent Canadian court case brought against the Canadian Recording Industry Association by isoHunt Web Technologies, Inc, could drastically change the web landscape in Canada. "The question before the British Columbia Supreme Court is if a site such as isoHunt allows people to find a pirated copy of movies such as Watchmen or The Dark Knight, is it breaching Canadian copyright law? 'It's a huge can of worms," said David Fewer, acting director of the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic at the University of Ottawa. 'I am surprised that this litigation has gone under the radar as much as it has. I do think this is the most important copyright litigation going on right now.'"
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Piracy Case Could Change Canadian Web Landscape

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  • Bad news (Score:4, Funny)

    by MrEricSir (398214) on Friday March 20, 2009 @04:53PM (#27273791) Homepage

    If you can download their movie for free, Terrance and Phillip are going to go bankrupt.

  • So this is like the Pirate Bay case, only the issues are being examined in Canada. Hope there's enough people making noise about this up north to have an impact.
    • by Quantos (1327889)
      I didn't see anything in the article for supporters.
      Do any of you have any ideas how a fellow Canadian can show support for ISOHunt?
      Other than just e-mailing them I mean.
      • by KillerBob (217953) on Friday March 20, 2009 @05:15PM (#27274061)

        This is Canada. We don't make noise. We write letters. And only if it's about something that's really really annoying.

        It's also not really something we need to worry about in Canadian copyright law... all the ISOHunt people need to show is that they are not actually making the files available themselves. In Canadian copyright law, it's ok to copy/share materials as long as it's not for material gain, and you're not distributing on a large scale.

        • by grcumb (781340) on Friday March 20, 2009 @07:05PM (#27275255) Homepage Journal

          This is Canada. We don't make noise. We write letters. And only if it's about something that's really really annoying.

          Yeah, things like the invasion of Poland, or when someone (ahem!) burnt down the city of York. Of course, we deliver those letters personally, and staple the envelope to the forehead of the recipient. Repeatedly.

          ...And politely.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward
            As for the latter, that was the British. I realize this is a matter of some national pride for Canadians, but history does not bear it out. The commander was Irish born and the regiments were all various British units who had recently been freed up by the end of the Napoleonic War. No Canadian raised units (which were primarily militias) participated. The razing of the White House was strictly a British affair and did not involve the predecessors of modern Canadians.

            Battle of Bladensburg [wikipedia.org].

    • Not quite... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TheSHAD0W (258774) on Friday March 20, 2009 @05:04PM (#27273953) Homepage

      It's different because Canadians have ALREADY paid for the content, in the form of a levy on all storage media. So the media companies want to be paid twice.

      • Re:Not quite... (Score:5, Informative)

        by snowraver1 (1052510) on Friday March 20, 2009 @05:17PM (#27274083)
        I could be misinterpreting this, but this is not about individuals. In Canada, as I understand, it is not illigal to download copyrighted works for personal use. Under Canadian law, commercial infringment is still very much illigal, but infringement for personal use, and no financial gain, is not illigal.

        The issue at hand here is whether or not an individual/corporate entity can link to a copyrighted files (or in this case link to a file that has a link to look for a list of people that might have the file you need).
        • Re:Not quite... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by TubeSteak (669689) on Friday March 20, 2009 @05:44PM (#27274417) Journal

          The issue at hand here is whether or not an individual/corporate entity can link to a copyrighted files (or in this case link to a file that has a link to look for a list of people that might have the file you need).

          I think this case is great news.
          Either the court sides with isoHunt and the issue is permanently settled...
          OR the court sides with the CRIA and the search engines hire lobbyists to fight it out and get the law changed.

        • Re:Not quite... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by penguinstorm (575341) on Friday March 20, 2009 @06:37PM (#27274943) Homepage

          That's not /strictly/ true. It's true that "fair use" and "format shifting" are established more firmly here than in the U.S.

          In Canada it's always been legal to make copies for personal use. This means that it's perfectly OK for you to take a line output from your 8 track stereo to your line in on your Mac Pro and create a digtal copy of that Rush 2112 album you bought in 1976.

          Similarly, it's fairly clearly legal for you to rip a copy of the Serenity Special Edition DVD you've bought to watch on your iPhone. You're breaking encryption, but it's probably still legal.

          To extend from that to "it's not illegal to download copyrighted works for personal use" is a stretch. Essentially the point in the scenarios above if that you've already /paid/ for a "licence" at whatever prevailing rate the things costs. From there, you can shift your format...you don't need to buy multiple licences (though you obviously can.)

          Whether this justifies the liberation of content gets into muddier waters. If I buy the DVD can I download a copy and say that's my "other format?" Maybe....maybe....the source may be illegal, but technically I do "own it" but I'm not sure that's justification. (Though I may use it as justification also.)

          In the case of over the air TV shows such as "30 Rock" I don't have to "pay" for a licence. It's paid for by advertisers. If I download it without advertisements...different situation. It's not like anybody's lost money, except in the abstract sense that the network could have made _more_ money through advertising revenue with a larger audience...unless of course I watched it live as well.

          In the case of a Compact Disc there's a more direct cause and effect: if I download a liberated copy of the medi, somebody's lost money. Labels aren't going to keep putting out music for no money, and bands aren't going to be able to record if nobody ever buys albums (touring revenue notwithstanding.)

          The media levy muddies the waters a bit, but only a bit.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by ubergeek65536 (862868)
            Of course bands will still be able to record without the record labels, what they won't be able to do is spend $100K on recording an album. Nirvana recorded Bleach for $600 You're also forgetting that the vast majority of acts make their income from performances not from record deals. http://www.negativland.com/albini.html [negativland.com]
            • Re:Not quite... (Score:5, Interesting)

              by penguinstorm (575341) on Friday March 20, 2009 @09:28PM (#27276145) Homepage

              I don't disagree with your assertion, but that's your personal politics of music not the legality at play.

              Neko Case told Paste Magazine that touring payed for her farm in Vermont, not recording. I believe strongly in supporting musicians while they're touring, and detest the face that I'm basically supporting Ticketmaster most of the time anyway.

              Nirvana may have recorded Bleach for $600 but most of those millions of eventual fans didn't go see them because they bought Bleach, and even fewer of them went to see them at Neumo's.

              Most of those fans heard of Nirvana long after they'd been signed by a major label and given a massive promotion and marketing push.

              I'm not saying a similar story /couldn't/ have happened if they'd just toured like crazy, I'm saying the story you're telling happened in the current system and not outside of it.

              I feel similarly about Radiohead's succesful "experiment" with selling In Rainbow's direct, btw. It really wasn't that interesting an experiment...it was a band that had benefited from millions of dollars of earlier promotion leveraging their name recognition. It's much more interesting to see what new bands are doing with the new medium...those bands that aren't signing with major labels (like the aforementioned Divine Ms. Case, who's been asked to do so more than once but values her integrity and independence.)

              It's about the legality, not the politics. In Canada if I've seen an artist live does that give me the right to liberate all of their music? I've asked this myself...I keep going to /see/ Kathleen Edwards but I don't own much of her music. Can I liberate it? I don't think it's legal.

              Followup question: if I borrow a CD from the library and rip it, is it legal for me to keep it?

              • by corychristison (951993) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @12:31AM (#27277011)

                Followup question: if I borrow a CD from the library and rip it, is it legal for me to keep it?

                Absolutely not. You didn't pay anyone the right to even use it (at least that's how I think they might see it in court)

                But if you rent a BlurRay movie from Blockbuster or Rogers Video and are forced to 'rip' it to your Linux PC to play on your 40" TV screen (as you have a BD drive in your PC, but do not own a standalone player) and just happen to *forget* to delete the copy off your hard drive after you return it could be a different story.

                For some reason that seems to happen to me 2, sometimes 3 times a week. ;-)

                • Or you could delete it, and it could miraculously remain on a snapshot of your home file system.

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  Actually, it IS legal to rip a library CD, and to keep the copy. That's black-letter law in Canada, and why we pay the blank media levy.

                  You can copy and keep anything -- the interesting wording in the law says, IIRC, that the person doing the copying must also be the one doing the keeping.

          • Re:Not quite... (Score:5, Informative)

            by damiangerous (218679) <1ndt7174ekq80001@sneakemail.com> on Friday March 20, 2009 @09:28PM (#27276149)

            Essentially the point in the scenarios above if that you've already /paid/ for a "licence" at whatever prevailing rate the things costs.

            Incorrect. Any person can make a copy of any copyrighted musical work for their own personal use. It doesn't mean they can only copy things they already own, it doesn't matter if they've paid anything for it at all. You can come to my house and copy all my CDs, and so can everyone I know. You may also invite anyone to come to your house and make copies of your CDs, including the ones you copied from me. Making any copy of any recording for personal use is not infringement.

            See the "Copying for Private Use" section of the Canadian Copyright Act: http://www.cb-cda.gc.ca/info/act-e.html#rid-33770 [cb-cda.gc.ca]

            • Ok, so that's an interesting section. It's interesting that it applies /specifically/ to "musical works." It certainly suggests that my library example is solid: I can borrow and rip without fear of violating copyright.

              It does nothing for the case of movies however....

              There is also the issue of the Harper Government's moves in the field:
              http://media.knet.ca/node/4052 [media.knet.ca]
              but I haven't been following them.

            • Ah...one other thing. That section states that the "act of reproducing" a musical work doesn't violate copyright.

              Downloaded music from the Internet is not a case "reproducing." I haven't reproduced anything...it's been created from the ether.

              If you have the media in your possession, it seems to make it fairly clear that you can "reproduce it." This is basic fair use doctrine.

              The person who reproduces it can do so only for personal use. Sharing it online is not personal use.

              It *does* seem that the library CD

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jurily (900488)

        It's different because Canadians have ALREADY paid for the content, in the form of a levy on all storage media. So the media companies want to be paid twice.

        They want to be paid as many times as they can. Remember DRM?

        • Whereas your strategy is to get paid as few times as possible?

          I /think/ I understand your point, but I'm not sure that it's a really valid argument. Not every paying isn't really going to solve the problem either...

      • Re:Not quite... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by shark72 (702619) on Friday March 20, 2009 @05:38PM (#27274339)

        The article in question is about downloading movies. You're referring to the Canadian levy on blank CDs, which goes to Canadian recording artists and Canadian record labels. If you've bought a blank CD in Canada, odds are that none of it went to the people who worked on The Dark Knight or Watchmen -- both products of the USA.

        Your purchase of blank media might give you a sense of moral justice in pirating, say, Celine Dion or Bryan Adams tracks... if this is ample justification for you, then go about your merry pirating ways and God bless you. But it would be a stretch to apply this moral justice to downloading Watchmen.

        • Re:Not quite... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by MadnessASAP (1052274) <madnessasap@gmail.com> on Friday March 20, 2009 @06:11PM (#27274693)

          I'm a Canadian and I download music and movies, I do buy blank media but I don't buy it for moral justice, I buy it because I need somewhere to put the movies and music. I don't NEED to settle my morals because frankly I don't give a shit. I'm around when some of my friends watch those paparazzi shows and if Hollywood can afford those clowns ridiculous lifestyle then it can sure as hell afford my free copy of Watchmen.

        • by mdielmann (514750)

          Wow, it's nice to know that I'm not allowed to buy American movies in Canada. After all, how ever would the money find its way back to the creators of those movies? Likewise for American music.
          Now that I think of it, how would they ever sue you for copyright infringement in the first place? I mean, they're all from America (musicians and actors only work in America, right?) and people are pirating all over the world! Maybe they'll make organizations in various countries to represent their interests and

        • by Tuoqui (1091447)

          If you think any of the money from the CRIA or whatever is just funneling money from them to the RIAA and its labels? I havent heard a story of a single Canadian artist labeled or not getting any money out of this so obviously the money is going somewhere because I dont think they have a furnace they're using to burn it.

          I don't condone commercial piracy but damn I'll stand up for anyones right to 'personal piracy' because as it stands the copyright laws are far too slanted towards the producers and it seems

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mark-t (151149)
        That levy on storage media is intended to subsidize private use copying. Putting something on your computer so that anybody can access it when they have a link to it and then publicly posting that link for anybody to find sort of forgoes any notion that might have otherwise existed that the copy was just for private use, don't you think?
        • by schon (31600)

          Putting something on your computer so that anybody can access it when they have a link to it and then publicly posting that link for anybody to find sort of forgoes any notion that might have otherwise existed that the copy was just for private use, don't you think?

          You are conflating "making available" with "copying".

          If I copy something for my own use, I need somewhere to put it. If that "somewhere" happens to be a shared drive, that's a separate legal question.

          If my intent was to copy it to share it out, that's no longer private copying, but if my intent was to make it available so that I can access it regardless of where I am when I travel, then putting it in a shared location is perfectly reasonable.

          If I were to allow everyone in my city (or province, or the entir

          • by mark-t (151149)
            Whether or not they initiate the copying, when it transmits that data on the internet, your computer is still broadcasting that content to them. Unauthorized broadcasting of copyrighted content without permission of the copyright holder is _ALWAYS_ copyright infringement. If you never willfully disclose any means of accessing the content of your computer to anybody else, you'd at least have a reasonable argument that the infringement was not deliberate (since accidental infringement is generally forgiven
            • by smoker2 (750216)
              Not true at all. Your computer never "broadcasts" anything. All content is requested by a third party. No files are pushed to random unknown users. And to be honest, I've never used a file sharing program that has a "shared folder". Either I publish a torrent and seed it or I don't. There are no files left open for others to browse. If I want to share files at the users whim, I put them on an FTP/http server [headru.sh].
              • by mark-t (151149)
                Regardless of whether or not the content is requested by a third party, all communication on the internet is _sent_ by its originator, not pulled by the receiver. Sending, I'm afraid, is quite literally broadcasting it... even if it is only in a narrow enough band that only the intended destination will actually receive it. All the receiver actually does is request something and prepare to listen to the response (which could just as easily come in the form of a "request denied" as it could some actual co
      • That levy is for music not movies, television shows, software or whatever else you find on torrent sites.

    • Different jurisdiction, same story.

      Yep, it's called divide and conquer. Of course, the governments and big media are quite globally united, with things like copyright treaties, sadly.

    • by arbiter1 (1204146)

      Its the voice of the public vs the $$$$ of like mpaa. you know which side will win this.

    • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday March 20, 2009 @07:07PM (#27275269) Journal

      >>>So this is like the Pirate Bay case, only the issues are being examined in Canada.

      I don't know why you were labeled insightful", because you're flat wrong. Piratebay provides the tracker server which enables piracy. Isohunt does not. Isohunt is like google, a search engine, which means technically they are doing absolutely nothing wrong.

      The fact that google links to all websites, where isohunt only links to torrent sites, is the basis of this case and has implications for ALL search engines, as it may require them to stop linking to torrent sites too.

      • by mariushm (1022195) on Friday March 20, 2009 @07:57PM (#27275635)

        The Pirate Bay (TPB) offers an "optional" tracker that can be used for either legal or illegal purposes.

        You can however post a torrent on TPB without any of the Pirate Bay trackers, so in this case TPB will act just like IsoHunt.

        • Like I said: "Piratebay provides the tracker... Isohunt does not." The prosecution in the piratebay case argues that the tracker is used to steal copyrighted items, but that same argument does Not apply to isohunt. Therefore the two cases are not the same.

    • by hairyfeet (841228)
      Of course not! How COULD they make noise, when they are all huddled around their little igloos trying to stay warm! Poor little Canadians, stuck out in the snow like little orphans. Here we are, down here in the US where it is warm, bitching about global warming, but do we ever think about those poor little Canadians, all stuck in the snow? While we are trying to cut down on emissions they are probably holding up cans of CFCs with their little mittened hands, spraying it desperately into the sky going "WORK
  • by guruevi (827432) <evi@NOSpam.smokingcube.be> on Friday March 20, 2009 @04:55PM (#27273827) Homepage

    I don't understand. Is the torrent site suing the CRIAA (Canadian Recording Industry Assh*les from America) to see whether non-Canadian content is copyrighted by the CRIAA? I thought those companies were subsidiaries of the recording companies and they just cross-license their stuff.

    Legalese is so very confusing.

  • Laws and stuff (Score:3, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday March 20, 2009 @04:55PM (#27273841)

    Everyone yells and jumps about over copyright. And while in truth yes, it will have an effect on our lives and how we conduct business, the law will never settle the matter. No matter how many judgements, treaties, proclaimations, arrests, convictions, and everything else we throw at it, it cannot change the fact that the internet is global. You can't stop the signal, nobody can. We can't simply dismantle the network, and try as we might to control what goes over it, if a connection can be made someone will figure out a way to get the data through. The internet doesn't care about copyright. It exists to transmit information between people, and nothing will ever deny that power. Not as long as it exists.

    We might bear witness to a fifty year war on copyright, pirates, and blah blah blah, but the problem will never go away. The signal will always be there, someone will always have a copy, and eventually the economic drain that will come from fighting this war will bankrupt its supporters. Eventually. It might not happen in five years, or twenty, but it will happen.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Rip Dick (1207150)
      Sounds reminiscent of the war on drugs...
      • Re:Laws and stuff (Score:4, Insightful)

        by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday March 20, 2009 @05:18PM (#27274093)

        Sounds reminiscent of the war on drugs...

        The laws are screwy. I can take a 2x4 to your head and be out in six months for aggravated assault, but spend ten years in jail for downloading a song you made. I think we're already there.

        • by CannonballHead (842625) on Friday March 20, 2009 @05:21PM (#27274139)
          Hope you didn't illegally download that 2x4. ;)
        • by TubeSteak (669689)

          I can take a 2x4 to your head and be out in six months for aggravated assault, but spend ten years in jail for downloading a song you made.

          [Citation Needed]
          How exactly does a civil judge sentence anyone to jail?

          The only way you can get jail time is for criminal copyright infringement.
          And that's if you can get the FBI to investigate and the DOJ to prosecute.

          Generally, the FBI is only interested in large scale (the scene) non-commercial infringement, commercial infringement (selling bootlegs), cammers, and anyone leaking pre-release material.

        • by Joebert (946227)
          Just wait until someone downloads your song, then, clobber them in the head. You'll probably get off with probation.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Everyone yells and jumps about over copyright. And while in truth yes, it will have an effect on our lives and how we conduct business, the law will never settle the matter. No matter how many judgements, treaties, proclaimations, arrests, convictions, and everything else we throw at it, it cannot change the fact that the internet is global. You can't stop the signal, nobody can. We can't simply dismantle the network, and try as we might to control what goes over it, if a connection can be made someone will figure out a way to get the data through. The internet doesn't care about copyright. It exists to transmit information between people, and nothing will ever deny that power. Not as long as it exists.

      We might bear witness to a fifty year war on copyright, pirates, and blah blah blah, but the problem will never go away. The signal will always be there, someone will always have a copy, and eventually the economic drain that will come from fighting this war will bankrupt its supporters. Eventually. It might not happen in five years, or twenty, but it will happen.

      This post sort of makes me want to hack the Gibson

      HACK THE PLANET!!!!

    • You can't stop the signal, nobody can.

      My international army of backhoes, fishing trawlers, and Tesla coils disagrees.

    • by Xelios (822510)
      In the end all this noise making about copyright on the internet will come down to a simple choice; do we change our ideas on copyrights or do we dismantle the internet? The latter is impossible by now, which is why all these lawsuits and lobbying attempts by content holders are futile. Content holders are just going through the stages of change;

      1) Shock - This was Napster
      2) Denial - The time between Napster and torrents
      3) Anger - This is where they are now
      4) Passive Acceptance - Not there yet folks
      5
  • by thedonger (1317951) on Friday March 20, 2009 @04:58PM (#27273861)
    ...and your OS runs your browser, and your bios loads your OS, and your hardware is the platform on which your bios runs, and your hardware uses electricity, which is generated by the power company by burning coal, which is mined from the earth. So really, this all the fault of the planet.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      Or maybe this all indicates that the coal mining company is supporting piracy? Sue the power company.
    • by castorvx (1424163)
      It's difficult to prove in courts that sites like that are supporting piracy, but it is also disingenuous to suggest the exact opposite.

      How much electricity is used for piracy? What portion of isoHunt's traffic is for data that is not copyrighted?
    • by dryeo (100693)

      Here in BC it is hydro power which is delivered by the crown corp. BC Hydro.
      So really it is the fault of the government for enabling us to download copyrighted material.

  • That question has already been asked here in the USA. Is linking illegal? YES.

    Case in point: 2600 magazine linking to DECSS code

    Now what this will lead to is more of whats happening over in Australia and China.. We'll have content filters on each country divide monitoring for copyrighted materials and "websites known for trafficking of copyrighted materials". It'll be another WaronDrugs, this time with scatterplots of the whole population being charged with fines randing from 750$ to 35000$, plus federal ha

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dubbreak (623656)

      That question has already been asked here in the USA. Is linking illegal in the US? YES in the US.

      There, fixed that for you.

      • Re:Not surprising. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Vu1turEMaN (1270774) on Friday March 20, 2009 @06:13PM (#27274709)

        +1 cause you're technically right, but seriously, if America thinks its illegal, they'll pressure someone else to think the same thing.

        Only reason why tv-links went down was because of US involvement.

        • Yep... The USA has no influence over any other country.. except

          ACTA
          Sweden's PirateBay criminal suits
          Iraq's new IP policy
          Canada's New IP policy

          And others Ive missed...

          Yep. The USA is an island all alone.

        • Re:Not surprising. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by dubbreak (623656) on Friday March 20, 2009 @10:07PM (#27276369)

          +1 cause you're technically right, but seriously, if America thinks its illegal, they'll pressure someone else to think the same thing.

          Only reason why tv-links went down was because of US involvement.

          Completely true. The US attempts to push its ideals on other countries (I don't even need to give any examples, as anyone should be able to think of quite a few).

          There are many items where Canada has held it's own on standpoints (copyright so far, leniency on marijuana etc). My biggest complaint is that the general viewpoint of "Americans" (as we refer to US citizens even though they aren't the only country in america) is that their viewpoint is the only right on and everyone else should follow suit.

          My original post was to clarify that:
          illegal in the US != illegal in other countries

          Hardly redundant, and an important point to make as it seems many aren't clear on that.

  • If one does not want that his movies or songs are transmitted via networks just do not put them into a digital format. There will be no these movies and songs in the digital world, but nature does not like an emptiness, there will be other instead.
    • by Urza9814 (883915)

      It's not too tough to convert something from any analog format to a digital format...
      Basically they'd have to just not publish their songs ever. Or perform them ever.

  • Why this wording? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Friday March 20, 2009 @05:19PM (#27274101) Journal

    if a site such as isoHunt allows people to find a pirated copy of movies such as Watchmen or The Dark Knight, is it breaching Canadian copyright law?

    I don't get it.

    Are they trying to subtly make a point that only certain movies should be protected?

    Or do they really feel that the general public doesn't know what a "movie" is, and could use some examples?

    Maybe it's a nitpick, but something about that language just seems gratuitous, yet most news media seems to do just that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TuaAmin13 (1359435)
      I think they mean obviously commercially copyrighted works.

      How would I know if your youtube video that is posted on a torrent site is freely distributed by you or someone else? This is the worst case "it obviously is not free"
    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      Maybe it's a nitpick, but something about that language just seems gratuitous, yet most news media seems to do just that.

      They're picking movies that are in the public eye so that readers (you) can relate to the issue being described. Even people who don't go to the movies have more than likely heard something about Watchmen or The Dark Knight.

      12 years ago it would have been Titanic and Men In Black.
      It's just a rhetorical trick and a useful one at that.

      At the end of TFA: The Dark Knight became the most pirated movie in history after people found it through a BitTorrent search engine while it was still in theatres.
      /It isn't qu

    • by againjj (1132651)

      They are pointing out that isoHunt allows people to find movies (1) where the general public obviously has not been given download permission, (2) that would still be copyrighted under any reasonable length of copyright, and (3) are intended to be paid for. This is one extreme of the spectrum of items that can be found, where the other extreme is obviously public-domain works. However, the point is that the former is possible, and does that mean what isoHunt does is illegal?

      It also, of course, puts in

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by gslj (214011)

      In Canada, musical recordings and movies leave copyright after fifty years. (Written works leave copyright fifty years after the death of the author). That means that an extensive list of movies is public domain (in Canada) and can be legally downloaded. For example,

      Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
      The Wizard of Oz (1939)
      Fantasia (1940)
      20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)
      Lady and the Tramp (1955)

      I used a torrent the other day to get a copy of music that my dad used to have on album, "Yvonne de Carlo Sin

      • Re:Why this wording? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by camperdave (969942) on Friday March 20, 2009 @07:18PM (#27275363) Journal
        The one proviso: when Disney restores the colour or re-engineers the sound track, the copyright clock starts ticking again ON THE REVISED VERSION, which is why Disney does that so often.

        One could argue, though, that the remastered version is merely a derivative work and covered under the original copyright. Just as changing the font of a novel would not cause it to be a new copyrightable book.
  • purely legal (Score:2, Informative)

    by salparadyse (723684)
    The intent of the site is that people searching it can find the location of copyrighted materials.

    Since the consequences of putting up such "sign posts" is that people will find this material it is therefore arguable that the consequences were foreseen (if disregarded).
    This is called inferred intent. The principle comes from UK Criminal Law but is applicable universally because it speak of a basic truth. That to recklessly ignore the natural consequences of your actions, but to carry on with those acti
    • Re:purely legal (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mariushm (1022195) on Friday March 20, 2009 @05:55PM (#27274535)

      Sorry, no.

      IsoHunt acts as a search engine and returns torrent files that can be either "legal" or "illegal".

      No search engine can determine with 100% accuracy if something is legal or not, not even Google.

      If I record a movie in my own garden, I can release the video on my website or even on The Pirate Bay with a license saying that only the people in my home town have the right to download the video and the rest don't.

      IsoHunt will index the torrent file nevertheless and from your point of view, IsoHunt indexes an illegal torrent that should be taken down, but from my (the creator) point of view it's perfectly legal.

      It's the USER'S RESPONSIBILITY to read the terms of the license, the description of the torrent file I made and download the movie if he believes he's allowed to.

      So what I'm saying is that a movie or song or any binary data can be copyrighted but also can be legal to download it, it's illegal to distribute/download/upload/whatever something you don't have rights to do that and IsoHunt or any other search engine can't know that.

      You can use Google nowadays for much worse things than copyright infringement, things like how to make a lockpick, how to prepare cocaine, how to steal a car, how to make a gun... but apparently a company's loss is important enough to stop something very useful to a lot of people.

      It's not even worth to start commenting about cases where a company makes a movie making millions in US but doesn't feel it's worth releasing a DVD or a VHS to a small country, because they estimate they'll sell very few copies there and the profits will be smaller than the distribution and fabrication costs.

      When this company retains copyright over something but yet keeps that something locked and unavailable to where I am, is that company really losing any money or suffers any losses if someone copies and gives away that stuff for free in that country? Should that company be allowed to keep copyright for 90 years on that? What was copyright supposed to be for, anyway?

      • But they specifically don't filter out titles known to be unavailable for free. Ergo they allow such titles to be searched for and found, ergo they intend that result.
        Re your last paragraph - agreed. As I said, as to whether these sites have committed a moral crime is another matter.
        • Re:purely legal (Score:5, Insightful)

          by mariushm (1022195) on Friday March 20, 2009 @06:57PM (#27275171)

          And how would you do that?

          Let's say you have "Madonna.jpg"

          How is IsoHunt supposed to know if it's
          (a) a scan of a Madonna CD artwork (illegal)
          (b) a picture you made with a camera of a Madonna statue
          (c) a picture of your girlfriend you like to nickname "Madonna"
          (d) a picture of the cover of a book that has Madonna in the name.

          Or, if I make a movie of myself and friend at a party, dancing on Prince's music, and I label it "Prince - Purple rain.avi" should IsoHunt remove it because it may be the actual video of the song or should IsoHunt staff be forced to download it and count how many seconds of Purple Rain actually are (if any) so that they can determine if it's fair use (less than 30 seconds of song) or not?

          If it's more than 30 seconds, do they use the Canadian laws where IsoHunt is, or MY laws, which may consider any length of song fair use?

          • > Or, if I make a movie of myself and friend at a party, dancing on Prince's music, and I label it "Prince - Purple rain.avi" should IsoHunt remove it because it may be the actual video of the song or should IsoHunt staff be forced to download it and count how many seconds of Purple Rain actually are (if any) so that they can determine if it's fair use (less than 30 seconds of song) or not?

            Thing is, Prince would still go after you for that even if it was clearly fair use. I base that on the fact that th

            • by mariushm (1022195)

              Yeah, well, let him sue me and see how much DCMA applies in Greece or Ukraine or Russia or my country. Maybe he'll learn that DMCA applies only in US.

              • > Yeah, well, let him sue me and see how much DCMA applies in Greece or Ukraine or Russia or my country. Maybe he'll learn that DMCA applies only in US.

                Strangely enough, many non-US providers obey DMCA notices even though they don't necessarily have to. It can be quite annoying at times, actually. But their logic is probably that they DO have copyright treaties with the USA and they don't want any legal trouble.

                That said, there certainly are non-US hosts that ignore DMCA notices. The legal threats sec

        • But they specifically don't filter out titles known to be unavailable for free. Ergo they allow such titles to be searched for and found, ergo they intend that result.

          It would be pointless to filter those titles out. As soon as they started doing that, people would start encoding titles so that the filter won't block them and then publishing lists of real titles and their encoded names in some frequently changing location that is easy enough for a person to find, but difficult for a computer to decipher. It already happens frequently on usenet because DMCA takedown notices to the big usenet sites like giganews have so far all been the result of automated title searches

        • Automobile manufacturers don't specifically filter purchasers that are likely to use their cars to rob banks.
          Are car companies guilty of bank robbery?

          Camera manufacturers don't specifically stop random pervs from taking upskirt shots of women in shops. Does that make the camera manufacturer guilty of sexual exploitation?

          Tools have been used for good and bad purposes for centuries. But somehow, just because it's a search engine, involving a computer, you think it has to be treated completely differently.

    • by Urza9814 (883915)

      So why are books explaining how to make bombs, how to hack, how to murder, etc all legal? Yes, it's obvious people will use such things for nefarious purposes. Just like it's obvious people will use isohunt to download illegally. But there are also perfectly legal uses of such resources. And there are perfectly legal uses of isohunt.

  • 'Watchmen filetype:torrent' makes Google a torrent search engine... Don't see them pulled into court... granted, places like ISO hunt, Torrent reactor and Pirate bay are making their name specifically by only searching for one file type. I wonder how things change if they add more file types and let you sort the results?
  • by cdrguru (88047)

    The problem is that people are still trying (and for the most part, failing) to make money from digital works. There are considerable forces in the world that want to make this impossible. And they are winning.

    If you spend money for a movie, you are their sworn enemy. If you pay for music, in any form, you are part of the problem and they think they are part of the solution.

    The problem is, right now they can win. For the most part "crime" on the Internet can't be effectively punished. Which is why just

    • by mariushm (1022195)
      It is why your children can't be allowed to use the Internet without supervision - someone will approach them with some unsavory proposal. Anyone doing this "in real life" would either be beaten to death or arrested, depending on who caught up with them first (a parent or the police). On the Internet, I can seduce your children, I can commit fraud, libel and anything else I choose and you can do nothing about it.

      Obviously, you did not have a computer when you were a kid.

      Yes, children can be seduced on
    • by Draek (916851)

      The problem is that people are still trying (and for the most part, failing) to make money from digital works. There are considerable forces in the world that want to make this impossible.

      Wrong. They are simply trying to stop large companies from lobbying to prevent the free sharing of information. Lobbying to perpetually extend copyright, lobbying to penalize copyright infringement more harshly than rape or murder, lobbying to collect taxes on other companies' products solely because they wish to. And they are winning.

      This means I can buy movies and post them on the Internet with the specific intent of making sure not another dime is spent on that movie, ever again.

      Sure, and you can also buy movies and post them on the Internet with the specific intent of becoming a billionaire. Doesn't mean it'll work, though, and given the wide range o

  • I do think this is the most important copyright litigation going on right now.

    If it's in Canada, how could that possibly be true? :^)

  • by RichMan (8097) on Friday March 20, 2009 @06:09PM (#27274677)

    repeat after me indexing is not copying.

    No matter how much the RIAA wants you to think otherwise. Indexing or making other available of where to find something is very different from actually making it available.

    Also making it available is not the same as copying it. People who put a movie up on a server are not violating copyright. Digital media must be copied to temporary storage to be played.

    Do not listen to the RIAA and their weird interpretation of what is a violation of copyright.

  • ...it saeems as if this is a case over whether or not a search engine can be held responsible for making it possible to find illegal content.

    And doesn't that mean that search engines would then be liable for the content of sites they list?

    And doesn't that mean that search engines need to know the nature of the content they index?

    And doesn't that mean that Google, for instance, needs to decipher if the results in a 'Watchmen' search are lawful previews, generic fanboi blog noise, press releases about the ope

  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Friday March 20, 2009 @06:20PM (#27274763) Journal
    to get fairly quick access to any music title you want.

    go to Google and type in:

    "bandName" "recordTitle" download inurl:blogspot

    just substitute "bandName" with the name of the band you want and "recordTitle" with the title you need from them.

    BANG.

    the blogs linking to them come up.

    sigh. So simple and convenient...

    RS

  • Before ALL content is restricted and you can only post 'approved' items.

    "but you can run xyz to get around it!" for now, just wait until TPM/DRM tech is *required* to run. Then your files ( and thus applications ) themselves become subject to approval by the future 'internet content governing body', a wing of the UN.

    Enjoy what is left of your freedom while you can. Dark days are coming.

    And before you label me as just 'yet another tin foil hatter', if i had told you a decade ago we would even be having this

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