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IsoHunt Guilty of Inducing Infringement 243

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-didn't-know-isos-were-endangered dept.
roju writes "The MPAA has won a summary judgment against torrent indexing site isoHunt for inducing copyright infringement. Michael Geist notes that '[t]he judge ruled that the isoHunt case is little different from other US cases such as Napster and Grokster, therefore concluding that there is no need to proceed to a full trial and granting Columbia Pictures request for summary judgment.' Attorney Ben Sheffner, who worked on the case for Fox, explains some of the implications, noting that 'the most significant ruling in the opinion was the court's holding that the DMCA's safe harbors are simply not available where inducement has been established.' This case could have implications on other indexing sites, and creates a gap in the DMCA safe harbor provisions that could have far-reaching implications on other sites."
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IsoHunt Guilty of Inducing Infringement

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  • by IshmaelDS (981095) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @02:35PM (#30546332)
    I mean ISOHunt is in Canada, can this be used to shutdown ISOHunt? or is this mostly about posturing?
    • by Sirusjr (1006183) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @02:38PM (#30546354)
      Well even if it was enforceable, ISOhunt can always appeal the grant of summary judgment and perhaps the appeals court will reverse and call for an actual trial.
    • by Snaller (147050) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @04:48PM (#30547194) Journal

      If they don't comply, the US will invade and liberate those IsoHunt hold captive!

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      I mean ISOHunt is in Canada, can this be used to shutdown ISOHunt? Of course it can. The long arm of corporate power knows know boundaries.

      Those that would whine and wring their hands about the encroachment of "big government" somehow seem to ignore something that's a lot bigger, and a whole lot meaner.

      I'm curious. What do those of you who believe in the absolute "wisdom of the marketplace" say about these meta-corporate, extra-national powers that can increasingly exert power over your lives? Is there s

  • Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @02:41PM (#30546388) Journal

    A U.S. federal court in California has issued a summary judgment against Canadian-based isoHunt (and its [Canadian] owner Gary Fung)

    Why is a US Court adjudicating a case involving a Canadian citizen and his Canadian website?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Ironsides (739422)
      Are you familiar with the Berne Convention? [wikipedia.org] My guess would be proving infringement in the US is a first step to getting it shut down in Canada.
      • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by schon (31600) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @03:03PM (#30546554)

        Are you familiar with the Berne Convention?

        Are you? Are you familiar with Canadian Law?

        My guess would be proving infringement in the US is a first step to getting it shut down in Canada.

        Um.... WHAT!?!?!?

        I would imagine that suing in Canada would be the first step to getting it shut down in Canada.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by roju (193642)

          Well, the MPAA knew that it could rely on Grokster to get a judgment in the US. Given the lack of case law in Canada covering the subject, if they were to sue in Canada now, they could then refer back to that American victory, which might provide additional ammo in their suit. For example, the recent Supreme Court of Canada judgments that expanded libel defences referred to case law in the Commonwealth and the US as part of the rationale.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by tinkerghost (944862)

            Actually Grokster shouldn't apply since the materials hosted on IsoHunt don't actually contain any materials belonging to MPAA. Nor does any MPAA material pass through the IsoHunt system.

            Nor am I certain that the judges decision that a provision of federal law can just be thrown out because he wants to is going to stand up to an appeals decision.

            Finally, suing a Canadian company with no assets in the US is a crock of shit. Since the courts are continually complaining about their load, I would really hope

            • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

              by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @04:00PM (#30546898)

              Grokster does apply, because it created the precedent of "inducement".

              http://w2.eff.org/IP/P2P/MGM_v_Grokster/ [eff.org]

              The "Safe Harbor" defense is a red herring. That doesn't apply because IsoHunt wasn't hosting material and then taking it down when asked. It was inducing users to click links which allowed copyright infringement.

              The Berne Convention agreement, in conjunction with a closed court case, makes it very likely that Canadia will throw the book at this guy.

              Basically, this is the final patch of the legal loophole that allows linking to content as long as you're not hosting it. You have to be a generic search engine, not one dedicated to finding illegal software. (The name "ISO Hunt" does not have that many non-infringing connotations, especially the comments made on the site about being the best place for juarez).

              • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

                by Venik (915777) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @04:35PM (#30547100)

                The name "ISO Hunt" does not have that many non-infringing connotations

                Apparently, you are not a Linux user.

              • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

                by BiggerIsBetter (682164) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @05:50PM (#30547644)

                Providing links to users who are actively looking for them is not "inducing" anything. Facilitating, perhaps, but inducement means that ISOHunt caused a course of action. Does the mere presence of ISOHunt encourage users in this behaviour? No, because there are so many alternatives. Back in the day there weren't many places one could go, and the presense of Napster or Grokster arguably inspired people to infringe... but these days? Please, it's one of a bazillion places to find links to torrents of ISO images. They should fight this ruling.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by fluffy99 (870997)

          I would imagine that suing in Canada would be the first step to getting it shut down in Canada.

          Same here. The Berne Convention would be merely used to establish that copyright existed in Canada.

          What I find curious is that the judgement refers to Does 1-10. Are those additional parties in the US?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by cpt kangarooski (3773)

        Well, I don't know how the Canadians handle it, but I can tell you that the Berne Convention is not of any use in an American court. No one has rights in the US pursuant to Berne; rather, copyrights here are entirely governed by our domestic law, which only extends as far as our borders.

    • Because the MPAA could legitimately claim that his service was available to U.S. citizens, U.S. based equipment, and/or passed over U.S. network lines, the court (correctly) ruled that the MPAA had standing in this country.

      If isoHunt turned off access via U.S. IP address blocks, it would theoretically no longer be in violation of U.S. law - only potentially Canadian law (which Fung states he is not violating...).

      • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@NOSpAM.barbara-hudson.com> on Thursday December 24, 2009 @03:32PM (#30546706) Journal

        If isoHunt turned off access via U.S. IP address blocks, it would theoretically no longer be in violation of U.S. law - only potentially Canadian law (which Fung states he is not violating...).

        Isn't it the USERS in the US who are violating US law?

        Anyway, it'll all be moot in the next couple of decades, as it gets to the point where software-generated 3d movies and pro-quality music will be able to be generated by anyone in their own home with consumer-grade hardware and software.

        We're already seeing self-publishing getting a toe-hold in the literary and music worlds, and it's freaking out the old school. When everyone can generate content, who needs the content rent-seekers?

        • Anyway, it'll all be moot in the next couple of decades, as it gets to the point where software-generated 3d movies and pro-quality music will be able to be generated by anyone in their own home with consumer-grade hardware and software.

          YouTube wants to beat you over the head with a clue-by-four until you come to your senses.

          • by tomhudson (43916)

            Anyway, it'll all be moot in the next couple of decades, as it gets to the point where software-generated 3d movies and pro-quality music will be able to be generated by anyone in their own home with consumer-grade hardware and software.

            YouTube wants to beat you over the head with a clue-by-four until you come to your senses.

            I *did* say "a couple of decades".

            BTW, why not participate in the end-fo-year unzombie contest [slashdot.org]?

            • I *did* say "a couple of decades".

              You think practice is going to help these folks? You sir, are an optimist of the most impressive degree.

              • by tomhudson (43916)

                I *did* say "a couple of decades".

                You think practice is going to help these folks? You sir, are an optimist of the most impressive degree.

                This is Christmas, so I'll overlook the tiny mistake :-)

                Try http://www.starwreck.com/ [starwreck.com]

                Seriously, even if 99.44% is still garbage, that leaves some good stuff. It's like literature - there's a lot that comes in on the slush pile, but that doesn't mean that it's *all* slush.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

                You think practice is going to help these folks? You sir, are an optimist of the most impressive degree.

                A little bit. But more importantly, as the cost of production reaches joe sixpack prices, there will be many more folks creating. Hollywood likes you to think they have a monopoly on talent when all they have is a monopoly on distribution. Even if 99.99% of the independently created stuff is crap, when you have millions of folks creating, you will still get thousands of gems.

                The rent-seekers will lose the war, if for no other reason than they've chosen to make it a war of attrition and they are vastly ou

        • by Venik (915777)

          Anyway, it'll all be moot in the next couple of decades, as it gets to the point where software-generated 3d movies and pro-quality music will be able to be generated by anyone in their own home with consumer-grade hardware and software.

          In the future there will be robots.

      • by tepples (727027) <<tepples> <at> <gmail.com>> on Thursday December 24, 2009 @03:33PM (#30546712) Homepage Journal
        Say a foreign country bans use of encryption without a license. So is every HTTPS site in the world in violation if it doesn't firewall off all the country's IP ranges?
      • by shaitand (626655) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @03:49PM (#30546840) Journal

        People may be illegally importing said material into the U.S. but ISOHunt is doing what its doing in Canada and therefore falls under their laws.

        If you download a file from a Canadian server then you acquired the material in Canada and imported into the U.S. That's on you, the importer.

    • And were legally allowed to download music for personal use in Canada, yes he can't make it available for download but this should be up to Canadian courts to decided the sites faith.
    • by Wrexs0ul (515885)

      Same reason there's no direct flights to Cuba. If Gary is found to be owing a bazillionty dollars to the MPAA and doesn't pay then TSA cavity searches will be the least of his concerns next time he crosses the border.

      I have a strong feeling this is also a way to leverage support for ACTA (international DMCA) in Canada. With enough fingers pointing at us and our yarrrr Piratey ways the hope is MPs will give support to this life-changing copyright law.

      -Matt

      • Same reason there's no direct flights to Cuba. If Gary is found to be owing a bazillionty dollars to the MPAA and doesn't pay then TSA cavity searches will be the least of his concerns next time he crosses the border.

        Is this based on anything other than hyperbole?

        You're confusing civil judgments with criminal matters. If the MPAA sues (and subsequently wins a judgment against) the ISOHunt principals, they will simply owe them a debt. If there are assets belonging to them in the US, MPAA can petition the courts to have these assets seized/liquidated.

        People are not arrested in the US for owing a debt. See: untold number of spammers who [perkinscoie.com] owe [theregister.co.uk] Facebook, MySpace, et al. billions.

    • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Informative)

      by roju (193642) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @02:50PM (#30546464)

      The judgment mentions that the US believes it has jurisdiction over an infringment so long as one of the parties is in the United States. Additionally, the person doing the inducing doesn't have to be in the US.

      On page 18:

      In the context of secondary liability, an actor may be liable for 'activity undertaken abroad that knowingly induces infringement within the United States.'

      • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Adrian Lopez (2615) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @03:21PM (#30546660) Homepage

        I wonder how American proponents of such a principle would react to an American citizen being sued and convicted in China for posting information that China considers illegal to a US website that is nevertheless available to Chinese citizens.

        • by Rich0 (548339)

          Unfortunately, that's the problem with national sovereignty - nations can do whatever they want and consider their decisions binding on everybody on the planet. The only thing that prevents that is standing armies.

          If you don't want to worry about some country's legal system subjecting you to trials in-absentia then it is best to avoid travelling to that country, or to nations that readily extradite people to that country.

          The problem isn't really that the jurisdiction is wrong - anybody in the US can seek r

        • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by John Hasler (414242) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @05:09PM (#30547324) Homepage

          About the same as they did to a USA company being ordered by a French court to cease "violating French law" by selling Nazi memorabilia on its USA Web site.

      • by Snaller (147050) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @05:25PM (#30547442) Journal

        Until the Chinese tell them otherwise ;)

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      The judgment says why the court believes they have jurisdiction.

      Of course getting a judgment enforced is another matter, but not one that the court worries about.

    • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Kjella (173770) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @02:55PM (#30546500) Homepage

      Why is a US Court adjudicating a case involving a Canadian citizen and his Canadian website?

      Beause the court finds that he has induced infringements taking place in the US. I think it's the same legal theory that'll let a US court prosecute you if you shoot someone standing on the US side of the border from Canada, though the Internet tends to make such logic absurd. Don't expect any sudden bursts of logic though.

    • Anticipation of ACTA?

    • Admittedly, I don't get it either, however we're pretty much joined at the hip with NAFTA and various other treaties. I'm really not sure what standing a ruling like this would have up here. It's almost certainly a bad thing for isoHunt, though.

      More worrisome is that our currently (partially) elected government so desperately wants us to be the US that they've been going so far as to get the RIAA and the MPAA to consult on bills, so I wouldn't count on much government support for a Canadian citizen who has

    • by fluffy99 (870997)

      A U.S. federal court in California has issued a summary judgment against Canadian-based isoHunt (and its [Canadian] owner Gary Fung)

      Why is a US Court adjudicating a case involving a Canadian citizen and his Canadian website?

      You forgot to add, "on behalf of predominately foreign owned companies".

      My interpretation of the summary judgement is that this Canadian was facilitating copyright infringement that occurred on US soil - ie the clients doing the downloading.

      Those web sites are guilty as hell. The evidence is that the sites specifically advertised copyrighted torrents, openly declared the intent of the site as facilitating infringing downloads, and 95% of the available torrents were for copyrighted material. It's the juris

    • by shaitand (626655)

      According to U.S. law U.S. courts assume jurisdiction in pretty much all cases they hear. They usually justify it with particulars but that is the bottom line.

      Just ask anyone who is stupid enough to draw a trust document under foreign jurisdiction and gets dragged into a U.S. court.

      Hell, in trust cases where the trust is U.S based the courts will generally ignore U.S. law in favor of screwing over a trust in any instance where it isn't being used by the rich to control their children's lives or to dodge est

    • Let me tell you of a common occurrence with U.S. lawyers and tech support.
      (This happens a lot, usually when they insist on you knowing they are a lawyer, as if that has anything to do with computer savvy.... The ones that only bring up being a lawyer in passing, tend to be normal.)

      Call comes in, introductions proceed, lawyer makes a point of letting you know he's a lawyer.
      For whatever reason, you have to have the caller read something off the screen. (sysinfo, error message, whatever)
      Caller claims they can'
    • by couchslug (175151)

      "Why is a US Court adjudicating a case involving a Canadian citizen and his Canadian website?"

      Canada will be assimilated sooner or later. Consider this a practice run. :)

    • Because the suit was brought in USA Federal court by USA residents complaining about unauthorized copies of works subject to USA copyright being distributed in the USA. If awarded damages the plaintiffs can seize USA assets of the defendant and/or ask a Canadian court to enforce the orders of the USA court. While suits against foreign defendants may be news to you they are in fact routine in all jurisdictions and are handled in accordance with well-established procedures.

  • by roju (193642) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @02:45PM (#30546426)

    What neither writer makes clear is why isoHunt and Fung, both Canadian, are participating in a lawsuit in California.

    • by BitterOak (537666)

      What neither writer makes clear is why isoHunt and Fung, both Canadian, are participating in a lawsuit in California.

      Much of the material indexed in IsoHunt is copyrighted by U.S. companies, and many of the users of IsoHunt are based in the U.S. That's more than enough to give them a nexus.

  • link to the judgment (Score:5, Informative)

    by roju (193642) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @02:55PM (#30546510)

    The judgment itself [michaelgeist.ca] (pdf) is quite an interesting read. It gives a good overview of the relevant case law, explains how contributory infringement works, as well as why the court is claiming jurisdiction.

    • by The Real Nem (793299) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @03:42PM (#30546780) Homepage

      ... it seems like Fung's downfall was his own arrogance. The judgment states that Fung's failure to filter out copyright content alone would not have been sufficient grounds for contributory infringement. Contributory infringement was established because, in addition to this, Fung made forum posts detailing how to rip specific copyrighted works for his site and suggesting search terms to help find specific copyrighted works on his site. He also bragged about having certain copyrighted works available on his site and facilitated access to such content via top 20 lists.

      Seems like other torrent sites should take note. Never acknowledge the existence of copyrighted content on your site or specifically facilitate access to it (e.g. "top 20" lists) or use copyright suggestive terminology (e.g. "blockbuster") or profit from your site, and you might just escape unscathed. You want to offer about as much assistance as google does when searching for torrent files. Do this and the 5% legitimate content might just save you.

      • by Kjella (173770)

        Seems like other torrent sites should take note. Never acknowledge the existence of copyrighted content on your site or specifically facilitate access to it (e.g. "top 20" lists)

        Unfortunately, this would make them suck real bad as the reason things are decent is that fakes, crap, viruses and whatnot is filtered. Even if not by the site owner then a set of moderators and editors and administrators with whoever runs it on top, and those rules and organization will be put at your feet. However they are trying to do something similar with magnet links, and basically say this is just a simple link that points elsewhere and we're discussing it. Not sure if that'll help though.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by The Real Nem (793299)

          I'm not saying torrent sites shouldn't be moderated, just that the site's owners should shy away from doing it themselves. Any site of sufficient size can be reasonably moderated by its users and there are plenty of ways to allow users to flag bad torrents. Also, I don't see any problem with having generic "top 20" lists for specific categories (preferably user generated); you just shouldn't (effectively) call them "Top 20 Copyrighted Hollywood Blockbusters" as you are acknowledging and condoning their ex

  • Summary judgment (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dachannien (617929) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @03:02PM (#30546544)

    For those wondering about summary judgment, what it means, and how this can happen without a case going to trial in front of a jury:

    Summary judgment requires that the judge consider the evidence in a manner most favorable to the non-moving party (i.e., the party not moving for summary judgment, in this case isoHunt). If, after consideration of the evidence in that light, there is no possibility that the non-moving party could prevail at trial, then summary judgment can be entered instead.

    Essentially, this stems from the concept that juries are intended to be finders of fact, not judges of law. If there are no factual issues that need to be considered, then the jury has no job left to do - no matter what factual conclusion they reach concerning the evidence, the outcome as a matter of law will be the same.

    • Re:Summary judgment (Score:5, Informative)

      by Hatta (162192) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @03:24PM (#30546670) Journal

      Essentially, this stems from the concept that juries are intended to be finders of fact, not judges of law.

      Yes, but where does that erroneous concept come from? Chief Justice John Jay said "It is presumed, that juries are the best judges of facts; it is, on the other hand, presumed that courts are the best judges of law. But still both objects are within your power of decision... you [juries] have a right to take it upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy"

    • by shaitand (626655) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @03:57PM (#30546888) Journal

      "Essentially, this stems from the concept that juries are intended to be finders of fact, not judges of law."

      Which is ridiculous. The entire point of a jury is to determine if it is just to apply a black and white law in a specific full color world scenario.

      This is the only direct power the people have to check government. Well that and the right to bear arms but both have been subverted at this point.

      The power of juries has been subverted by the courts who decided they no longer had to inform juries of their rights and obligations in this area (a recent development in truth) and the right to bear arms by both the legislative and the executive.

      • Re:Summary judgment (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 24, 2009 @07:02PM (#30548094)

        That's right. As a juror, you have a right to refuse to convict someone if you feel the law itself is unjust. It's one of the rights won in the Magna Carta. Prior to that, a juror was required to vote guilty if the facts made it clear, and this allowed unconscionably bad, unfair, and abusive laws to be foisted on the people by tyrants. With this right gained, the legal system simply chokes on any law that the people feel is beyond the pale.
          It's been a part of common law since before there even was a United States, and for damn good reason.

        • by shaitand (626655) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @08:12PM (#30548396) Journal

          Mod this AC up.

          Just mentioning these rights or having literature that mentions them can result in a judge declaring a mistrial. That is because in this instance the jury not only checks the legislature, it checks the judicial.

          Judges don't like the fact that juries outrank them and jumped on the first excuse to subvert the power of the people (juries abused this power in the Jim Jones south).

  • by RobinEggs (1453925) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @03:03PM (#30546552)
    Why are you all surprised that a case against a canadian was heard in California?

    The MPAA have pretended for the last decade that US copyright law has worldwide jurisdiction, and their attorneys have generated lawsuits or cease-and-desist letters reflecting this belief. Dreamworks sics the DMCA on Pirate Bay [thepiratebay.org]

    Between the EU and the MPAA there's always someone trying to concentrate their own power by making their favorite local laws the international rule.
    • I know you Yanks love Yooroe bashing because we're all so ungrateful or whatever but I'm not sure where the EU comes into this. Which EU law(s) are you referring to?

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @03:07PM (#30546580)

    I used to read stuff like this and get upset. But then I realized that my entire generation knows it's baloney. They can't explain it intellectually. They have no real understanding of the subtleties of the law, or arguments about artists' rights or any of that. All they really understand is there is a large corporation charging private citizens tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, for downloading a few songs here and there. And it's intuitively obvious that it can't possibly be worth that.

    So what's happened is that this entire generation has disregarded copyright law. It's become a moot point. They could release attack dogs and black helicopters and it wouldn't really change people's attitudes. It won't matter how many websites they shut down or how many lives they ruin, they've already lost the culture war. At this point the only thing these corporations can do is shift the costs to the government and other corporations under color of law in a desperate bid for relevance. That's pretty much what they're doing.

    But what does this mean for the average person? Well, it means that we google and float around to an ever-changing landscape of sites. We communicate by word of mouth via e-mail, instant messaging, and social networking sites where the latest fix of free movies, music, and games are. If you don't make enough money to participate in the artificial marketplace of entertainment goods -- you don't exclude yourself from it, you go to the grey market instead. And all the technological, legal, and philosophical barriers in the world amount to nothing because there's a small core of people like you and I, here on slashdot, that do understand the implications of what they're doing and we continually search for ways to screw them over and liberate their goods and services for "sale" on the grey market. It is, economically and politically, structurally identical to the Prohibition, except that instead of smuggling liquor we are smuggling digital files.

    Billions have been spent combatting a singularily simple idea that was spawned thirty years ago by a bunch of socially-inept disaffected teenagers working out of their garages: Information wants to be free. Except information has no wants -- it's the people who want to be free. And while we can change attitudes about smoking with aggressive media campaigns, and sell people material goods and services they don't really need, we cannot change the fundamental aspects upon which our generation has built a new society out of.

    You can't stop people talking -- and just as we have physical connections to each other, increasingly we have digital connections to one another as well. These connections have, and continue to, actively resist attempts at control because doing so fundamentally impedes the development and nature of the relationships we have with one another. We will naturally seek the methods which give us the greatest freedom to express ourselves to each other. That is a force of nature (ours, specifically) that has evolved out of our interconnectedness, and it goes far, far beyond copyright. Ultimately, this is a battle they cannot win -- they can only delay, building dams and locks to stem the tide, but they will fail. Forces of nature are unpredictable and in the end it always wins.

    • And thats why you shouldn't clone dinosaurs with Frog DNA.

    • by causality (777677) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @04:11PM (#30546970)
      That was a beautifully written post and a pleasure to read. Thank you for that.

      I seem to have a bit of cynacism about it, though. I'd like to get rid of that, but I think it has a solid foundation. Your reference to Prohibition was absoutely right. The problem is, this country has not learned from it. Prohibition taught us that you cannot stop a powerful economic force, and if you try too hard to do it, you will create a black market and you will provide fertile soil for organized crime. No one fought with submachine guns and died in the streets over alcohol until it was made illegal. Alfonso Capone would be an anonymous figure if not for Prohibition. Imagine all the tax dollars, buildup of increasingly paramilitary police forces, involvement of the federal government in basic law enforcement issues and lives lost just to enforce a law that should never have been written, a law designed to enforce one group's Puritannical moral objections on everyone else.

      For anyone who's actually familiar with American history and tradition, it's hard to imagine anything more un-American than using law to micromanage the personal lives of others. You cannot tell a person what they may put into their body without also, implicitly, claiming ownership of their body. Yet that happened, right here in the "land of the free." And we tolerated it, because we were told that it was for our own good.

      Then consider that we haven't really learned anything from it because we still have Prohibition. We still have The War on (some) Drugs. Only the object of the prohibition has changed, but the process is the same. So are the problems. We have learned nothing.

      I would like to think that when iron-fisted copyright proves to be a failure, we will learn from this and find more reasonable approaches. But the utter failure of Prohibition hasn't stopped us from implementing similar laws. I would like to believe that a cultural war has been won, that when the old guard retires those who replace them will have a more enlightened viewpoint. I truly want to believe that. But I really don't see much precedent for it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I would like to think that when iron-fisted copyright proves to be a failure, we will learn from this and find more reasonable approaches. But the utter failure of Prohibition hasn't stopped us from implementing similar laws. I would like to believe that a cultural war has been won, that when the old guard retires those who replace them will have a more enlightened viewpoint. I truly want to believe that. But I really don't see much precedent for it.

        Every law advantages one group while disadvantaging another. This is why we will always have new Prohibitions. This is not a reason to give up hope or be cynical! We are in the middle of a social revolution that has few outward signs. Unlike generations past, the revolution that is happening now exists in fragmentary communications and a collectivistic movement that lacks any real core. It seems to be created by an unspoken understanding between its participants. That is to say, the participants of the digi

    • You can't stop people talking -- and just as we have physical connections to each other, increasingly we have digital connections to one another as well.

      Neat theory. You might want to double-check how that's working out in China.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      I used to read stuff like this and get upset. But then I realized that my entire generation knows it's baloney. They can't explain it intellectually.

      They don't have to, since they have bought the legal system.

    • And since information wants to be free, I'm going to copy your text and paste it all over the internet :)

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Aquitaine (102097)

      Uh, I don't know about you, but if they released attack dogs and helicopters, I think I could summon the willpower to make sure that I never visited isoHunt.

  • I assume this is one of those charges that they don't intend to pursue fairly, as FBI warnings, and DVD encryption have done a lot more towards "Inducing copyright infringement" than isoHunt.

    • I can understand the DVD encryption argument, but the FBI warning? Is there some sort of subliminal message that makes you want to hit Bittorrent and download copyrighted stuff? Do you have some sort of strange Pavlovian condition where seeing the warning triggers an insatiable desire to hit the Pirate Bay?

      • by zippthorne (748122) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @03:48PM (#30546834) Journal

        Yes. Legitimate copies won't let you skip it. Sometimes even the ads are unskippable. That's minutes of your life wasted for every single legitimate disk you watch. Bootleg copies on the other hand will let you just start watching the movie you wanted to watch.

        Something is broken horribly in a world where the knockoffs have full feature and quality parity with the originals and in addition are superior in other ways as well.

      • by shaitand (626655)

        I think it is more of a case of seeing injustice inspiring a psychological rebellion which in turn ultimately manifests in the form of civil disobedience.

        Do you download 20gb of mp3's because you want them or need them? Is it to show off to others? Perhaps, in vary degrees from individual to individual. But for most people, that is reason to download an album or even a few. Escalating that beyond what you want or need is about making a statement. It is also about collecting but the reason for choosing that

    • by roju (193642)

      Every time Hollywood complains about "billions of dollars of lost revenue", people should rebut and complain about Hollywood stealing millions of dollars of people's time [640k.ca] with those FBI warnings.

  • so will the MAFIAA then sue Google for caching the Torrent entries and listing links to them in their search engine?

    Don't believe me, do a Google search by adding the word "torrent" to any downloadable product type.

    Google "$show torrents" sometime and see what happens.

    Google "Windows 7 Ultimate torrent" and see what happens.

    Google "Elvis torrent" and see what happens.

    Did you find some links to torrent sites and entries that allows a person to download a torrent? Google is becoming a massive torrent search engine. But the MAFIAA won't sue Google because they are too big a target and have expensive lawyers on their side.

    All ISOHunt and other torrent sites are just search engines like Google, but they differ from Google in that they host BitTorrent trackers and torrent files.

  • ...he becomes a judge.

    This stinks of a fix. I hope somebody can find grounds for an appeal.

  • I'm so glad sites like this and especially The Pirate Bay get shut down. Oh, wait...

  • Nothing to see here. (Score:3, Informative)

    by John Hasler (414242) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @05:05PM (#30547302) Homepage

    The plain language of the "safe harbor" provision makes it clear that the defense is not available when inducement is involved.

  • ... a single legally distributable work that is distributed/tracked through isoHunt and isn't actually readily available via another mainstream channel anyways?

    I can't.

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