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IsoHunt To Court: Google Is the Bigger Problem

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the where-have-i-heard-that-before dept.

Cloud 270

Krystalo writes "isoHunt is still fighting its legal battle with the MPAA. In the latest episode, the torrent website filed a reply brief to the US Court of Appeals in which it suggests that Google, and not IsoHunt, is the largest BitTorrent search engine on the Internet."

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270 comments

Purpose and intents (0, Troll)

devtools (2018510) | more than 3 years ago | (#35505878)

Google isn't solely made and used for distributing copyrighted content illegally. IsoHunt, as well as The Pirate Bay, is. Us geeks have to learn that such things matter in court. It's a common problem with people who have Asperger's syndrome, but I think lots of those things apply to us geeks too. We need copyright so we can have successful companies like and products like Canonical and Microsoft. We tend to take things too literally and technically and cannot see past that. Things don't work like that - intend and purposes has a lot to do with it.

Re:Purpose and intents (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35505910)

Everyone here thinks they have Asperger's when it's probably well below 5%. Fortunately not everyone here is socially awkward and trying to make excuses for it.

Re:Purpose and intents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35505918)

Google isn't solely made and used for distributing copyrighted content illegally. IsoHunt, as well as The Pirate Bay, is.

Your exclusivity claim about IsoHunt and TPB is a lie.

Re:Purpose and intents (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35505954)

IsoHunt and PriateBay do not distribute ANY content, other than .torrent files. That's the point. They should not be held accountable for what users seed. Don't sue MIT because someone picks your lock. Don't sue Microsoft because someone sent you a death threat using Outlook. Same principle.

Re:Purpose and intents (3, Insightful)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506000)

Back in high school, the cops did a drug sting on campus. They busted the drug dealers AND the people that told them how to find the drug dealers. being part of the problem means you are part of the problem.

Re:Purpose and intents (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506160)

Back in high school, the cops did a drug sting on campus. They busted the drug dealers AND the people that told them how to find the drug dealers. being part of the problem means you are part of the problem.

Which, is pretty reaching considering in some places it's pretty hard not to know who is dealing, and knowing to stay away from them can be a valuable skill.

That would be like arresting people who can plainly point out which are the crack houses -- it's kind of obvious, and simply knowing where they are doesn't mean you were in any involved in it.

And, they wonder why people aren't always keen to cooperate with police.

Re:Purpose and intents (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506292)

Which, is pretty reaching considering in some places it's pretty hard not to know who is dealing, and knowing to stay away from them can be a valuable skill. (...) And, they wonder why people aren't always keen to cooperate with police.

Well being a sting people didn't know they were talking to cops. The second part is the difference between knowing and sending them business, I guess it depends on how they asked. It's one to thing to comment on it in conversation, but if you're asked "Dude, do you know how to get some pot around here?" and you say "Look for that red-haired guy who hangs out down by the C building, he always has good stuff." you've done more than comment on what looks like a crack house.

Re:Purpose and intents (1)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506484)

My school had a "C" building, so this response made me jump. :)

Amusingly the buildings were out of order; C was between "A" and "B". :)

Re:Purpose and intents (4, Funny)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506990)

I remember something similar happening at a party at uni. There were a couple of guys in their mid 30's drinking soft drinks at a student party filled with 20 year olds. They kept going around asking if anyone could sort them out any drugs, or if they knew the name of anyone who could - but with a kind of zeal that your average person simply wouldn't have. They stuck out like a sore thumb, so everyone had twigged they were police well before the inevitable raid happened (by which time, anyone with anything, had already gone home). In the end, all they found was the rest of the party racking up lines of sugar on the kitchen table ;)

Re:Purpose and intents (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35507064)

But that stretches the analogy to the point where it doesn't apply. As much as I'm pretty sure I'm on your side, you're strawmanning, dude. The GP was talking about drug dealer referrers, not merely people who knew who drug dealers were. And obviously IsoHunt doesn't know about torrents in order to keep away from them!

Re:Purpose and intents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35506352)

So guns DO kill people after all? And should be banned completely?

Re:Purpose and intents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35506558)

Back in high school, the cops did a drug sting on campus. They busted the drug dealers AND the people that told them how to find the drug dealers. being part of the problem means you are part of the problem.

Yes, because your experience with fascist school administrators and cops means that the world should work that way all the time, right? Here's a hint: basing ANY sort of policy decision on the shit done in the name of "The War On (some) Drugs" is idiotic, unless you're looking at the policy and doing the opposite.

Re:Purpose and intents (3, Insightful)

JSombra (1849858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506860)

Cops can arrest you for pretty much anything what, what count's is what happen's in court and would be very interested to see if a single person who told them were to find drug's was convicted if they did not stupidly plead out. Somehow i doubt it

Re:Purpose and intents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35506012)

If MIT was Lock Pick University, and Outlook was Microsoft (TM) Death Threat Creator, would the principle still be the same?

Re:Purpose and intents (1)

Timmmm (636430) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506086)

Erm, that was exactly his point - that it doesn't *matter* about the precise technical details. The legal system cares more about intent.

Google 'colour of bits'.

Re:Purpose and intents (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35506170)

Don't sue Microsoft because someone sent you a death threat using Outlook.

Yeah, but what if they wrote it in Word, too?

Re:Purpose and intents (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506194)

Yes, but IsoHunt willy facilitates copyright infringement and to act like they don't know that people are posting torrents to download copyrighted works is extremely naive and would never stand up in court.

Re:Purpose and intents (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506288)

>>>IsoHunt willy facilitates copyright infringement a

WRONG. Isohunt doesn't distribute torrents. /b> Why can't people pull their braisn out of their anuses, and WAKE UP? Isohunt.com is not a tracker. It used to be several years ago, but not anymore. Now they are identical to google - just providing links.

Re:Purpose and intents (1)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506398)

>>>IsoHunt willy facilitates copyright infringement a

WRONG

Oh. So you are saying they don't facilitate copyright infringement?

just providing links

Oh. So they are facilitating copyright infringement. What was your point?

Re:Purpose and intents (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506544)

CONTEXT KingMotley. "people are posting torrents to isohunt" is what the original poster claimed. Except that's wrong. You CAN'T post torrents to isohunt.

Jeez.

Re:Purpose and intents (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506404)

Consider that if you're having to try to split those hairs and argue that point here, IsoHunt's chances of successfully arguing it to an almost certainly non-technical judge are not good.

Re:Purpose and intents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35506298)

facilitates copyright infringement

You say that like it's a crime.

Re:Purpose and intents (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35505966)

Another new account and troll post by the poster known as devxo, balls of steel, Billy the Boy, and divxio.

Re:Purpose and intents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35506154)

If this one plays out anything like his RMS [slashdot.org] post, it'll hover at +2 for 12 hours before it miraculously jumps up to +5 while no one's watching.

Re:Purpose and intents (4, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35505970)

Google isn't solely made and used for distributing copyrighted content illegally. IsoHunt, as well as The Pirate Bay, is.

The Mob isn't exclusively used for selling counterfeit goods, so I guess they're not guilty of it?

Claiming Google isn't doing anything illegal but isoHunt is because it's all they do is crap. It's just that isoHunt doesn't have the deep pockets of a Google, Bing or Yahoo. If the MPAA thought they could win they'd be suing the big search engines too.

Re:Purpose and intents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35506482)

The Mob isn't exclusively used for selling counterfeit goods, so I guess they're not guilty of it?

Claiming Google isn't doing anything illegal but isoHunt is because it's all they do is crap. It's just that isoHunt doesn't have the deep pockets of a Google, Bing or Yahoo. If the MPAA thought they could win they'd be suing the big search engines too.

A gun's main purpose is defense during times of war/legal self defense and hunting. Because someone can use that tool to murder someone, illegally, does that mean that gun manufacturers are doing something illegal? Can they easily put a "can't be used for murder" feature on all the guns they manufacture? No. Should a gun that's only purpose is to murder people (fully automatic weapons, anyone?) be illegal? Yes.
Google is a tool for searching the Web, people do illegal things on the Web. Can Google easily block torrents from search? Sure, but there are far too many legal uses for torrents. Can Google easily weed out the "illegal" torrents? Possibly, but would it be 100% effective? No, some will still slip through and some legal torrents could be blocked.
You're example of the Mob selling counterfeit goods is also poor because the Mob really has no other legal purposes. That's like saying, if IsoHunt also started selling drugs on their site and a prostitution service. Is IsoHunt used exclusively for prostitution? No, so they're not guilty of it.

Re:Purpose and intents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35506680)

I agree. Automatic-transmission cars should also be illegal, because their only purpose is to murder people.

Oh don't be silly. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35506686)

This is the Google homepage:
http://www.google.com/ [google.com]
It has no mention of any particular search terms at all, let alone intent.

This is the IsoHunt homepage:
http://isohunt.com/ [isohunt.com]
It mentions the last 10 searches - which aren't exactly searches for Linux distributions - and what's that in the top right? Oh! How lovely, I can click through to the latest Video, TV, Game, etc. releases. What's more - I can add a release!

Even if I search for "Toy Story 3", these are Google's first page results (I'm logged out, so no personalized search):

  • Toy Story 3 official website
  • Toy Story 3 at imdb
  • Toy Story 3 at wikipedia
  • News results for Toy Story 3
  • Videos for Toy Story 3 (Trailer 2 at YouTube and Trailer at Apple)
  • Toy Story 3 Movie Reviews, etc. at Rotten Tomatoes
  • Toy Story 3 Movie trailers at Apple
  • Amazon.com: Toy Story 3
  • Toy Story 3 official site in the UK
  • Toy Story 3 at Pixar
  • Toy Story 3 at Coming Soon.

Now let's try that at IsoHunt.

  • Toy Story 3 720p TC XviD AC3-KiNGDOM (Kingdom-Release)
  • Toy Story 3 (2010) DVDRip (animation) XviD - OPTiC
  • Toy Story 3 (2010) - DVDRip XviD - Silent
  • Toy.Story.3.2010.PROPER.DVDRip.XviD-TASTE
  • Toy Story 3.2010.CAM.XVID.LU
  • Toy Story 3 (2010) - English DvDRip XviD - PrisM
  • Toy Story 3 2010 BDRip XViD-IMAGiNE
  • Toy Story 3 2010 720p BRRip x264-HDLiTE
  • Toy.Story.3-RELOADED
  • 2010]DVDRip[Xvid]AC3 1[E... Toy Story Trilogy

"But, AC," you say, "if you add filetype:torrent in the Google search, then you'll also get a bunch of these types of results".
Well no shit - that's partially the point though, isn't it? With Google, I have to explicitly tell the search engine that I'm looking for something a little more specific, generally associated with copies/rips/cams of whatever I'm looking for. With IsoHunt, I don't have to.
It may seem like an insignificant difference, but to the courts in various jurisdictions, all of these 'insignificant' differences add up to intent.

Anybody trying to argue that there's no difference between sites like IsoHunt and Google - either philosophical or technical - needs to be hit over the head by a clue-by-four and some sense of reality.

But here's to hoping that the judge finds they have a strong case and either the industry has to back off from these sites and we can all do the Information wants to Free-as-in-beer dance, or the industry will just have to poke at Google and get a deal from them (already happened for YouTube anyway) and then eye these sites again for further lawsuits demanding either a deal or shutdown.

Re:Purpose and intents (3, Informative)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35505976)

(1) They shouldn't have modded you down to (0). Everyone, even idiots, are entitled to express an opinion.

>>>Google isn't solely made and used for distributing copyrighted content illegally. IsoHunt, as well as The Pirate Bay, is.

(2) Clearly you've never used isohunt. Isohunt doesn't distribute material. Nor *.tor files. It doesn't even provide a tracker! It's simply google with the "filetype torrent" tag.

Re:Purpose and intents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35506882)

Clearly you've never used isohunt. Isohunt doesn't distribute material. Nor *.tor files. It doesn't even provide a tracker! It's simply google with the "filetype torrent" tag.

So, in other words, it's Google filtered to only include links to illegal downloads of copyrighted material (although the occasional Linux distro or other non-illegally distributed material does occasionally find its way into the results— although, let's be realistic, while torrent is a valid way to distribute something like Linux, isoHunt is hardly where a person looking for a Linux distro would go to find it). This is precisely the problem. Unlike Google, IsoHunt exists for the primary purpose of helping people find illegally distributed content. That is their intent and purpose. The fact that they don't expressly host that content is just weaseling out of their responsibility.

Re:Purpose and intents (0)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35507068)

2) Clearly you've never used isohunt. Isohunt doesn't distribute material. Nor *.tor files. It doesn't even provide a tracker! It's simply google with the "filetype torrent" tag.

How convient that every excludes the fact that the results returned are almost exclusively for content which isn't legal to distribute.

You're trying to split hairs and it doesn't work that way. The point of isohunt is to find pirate torrents, every one knows that. Just because theres a Linux torrent linked once in a while doesn't change the fact that the other 99.99% of their links are to pirated material.

The guy who tells you how to find an assassin is still considered a criminal, even if he doesn't do the killing or even if he just connects you to some other person thats known to have contacts with assassins.

What they do from a technical standpoint is irrelevant when its clear that the intent is to facilitate illegal activities.

Re:Purpose and intents (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35505988)

Google isn't solely made and used for distributing copyrighted content illegally. IsoHunt, as well as The Pirate Bay, is.

Wrong.

It's a common problem with people who have Asperger's syndrome...

I'm starting to see why people repeat themselves a lot around you.

Re:Purpose and intents (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506096)

Google isn't solely made and used for distributing copyrighted content illegally. IsoHunt, as well as The Pirate Bay, is.

Wrong.

Now convince any court of that. I don't think IsoHunt can.

What matters legally isn't what's technically true; what matters is what you can prove (or, more accurately, sell/persuade.)

Re:Purpose and intents (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506138)

What matters legally isn't what's technically true; what matters is what you can prove (or, more accurately, sell/persuade.)

Fair point. Ah, that's what the other poster was saying... I responded too quickly, I guess I have Aspbergers. :)

My bad.

Re:Purpose and intents (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506080)

>>>We need copyright so we can have successful companies like and products like Canonical and Microsoft

"There is not, in nature, a right to protect your ideas from copying..... just as you may light your taper by my fire, without diminishing my heat, so may you copy my ideas without diminishing my use of my invention." - Thomas Jefferson, 1780s

Re:Purpose and intents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35506252)

Nice work, but Jefferson actually supported IP laws, albeit in a Constitutionally limited manner.

"I like the declaration of rights as far as it goes, but I should have been for going further. For instance, the following alterations and additions would have pleased me... Article 9. Monopolies may be allowed to persons for their own productions in literature, and their own inventions in the arts, for a term not exceeding ___ years, but for no longer term, and for no other purpose."
Thomas Jefferson, August 28, 1789

Re:Purpose and intents (4, Informative)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506780)

>>>Jefferson actually supported IP laws

Considering this long and lengthy argument from 1786, I don't know how can you reach that braiddead conclusion. Note the final bolded sentence.

"Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society. It would be curious then, if an idea, the fugitive fermentation of an individual brain, could, of natural right, be claimed in exclusive and stable property. If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it.

"Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.

"That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property."

Re:Purpose and intents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35506190)

It's a common problem with people who have Asperger's syndrome, but I think lots of those things apply to us geeks too.

You say that as if the two groups are mutually exclusive.

I mean, have you ever tried talking to some of the more... how to put this delicately... opinionated and just plain loud geeks out there? In real life, too? The usual story of "I was rejected from society my entire life and never had a chance to grow up with a normal social life" only goes so far as an explanation for some of them.

Re:Purpose and intents (1)

softWare3ngineer (2007302) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506192)

torrents aren't solely made for distributing copyrighted contents ether. i use them regularly to download software that is not illegal. they are a faster and robust mechanism to download anything. although this arguments is not valid for sites whose sole purpose is to provide illegal content, but there are a good deal of sites that dont fit that category. i could use pirate bay to post my own legal video is if i wanted to. it should be notated that the supreme court hasn't found this an adequate argument in the past though.

Re:Purpose and intents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35506902)

torrents aren't solely made for distributing copyrighted contents ether. i use them regularly to download software that is not illegal. they are a faster and robust mechanism to download anything. although this arguments is not valid for sites whose sole purpose is to provide illegal content, but there are a good deal of sites that dont fit that category. i could use pirate bay to post my own legal video is if i wanted to. it should be notated that the supreme court hasn't found this an adequate argument in the past though.

Which is probably why nobody is trying to ban torrent technology, but instead stopping those who OBVIOUSLY don't care that the vast majority of the content is infringing material. You want to set up a legal torrent site? Go ahead. But don't thumb your nose at the courts with some pretentious claims that you aren't encouraging people to come to your site because they want to get the latest hollywood movies for free.

Judges, despite beliefs to the contrary, are not stupid, are not unthinking machines, and can see for themselves when you're pulling a fast one. They are human. of course, that also means they can be stupid, or biased, but let's not get into all of that.

Re:Purpose and intents (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506302)

Isohunt isn't made for distributing copyrighted content illegally, nor is any other site, including google.

It's not their job to determine what is illegal and what isn't, nor to police what people are distributing. I think you forget that little section 230 thing.

Re:Purpose and intents (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506646)

>>>section 230 thing.

"No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." It does not apply to federal criminal law, intellectual property law, and electronic communications privacy law.

http://www.eff.org/issues/bloggers/legal/liability/230 [eff.org]

Re:Purpose and intents (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506418)

I though isoHut was only a search engine and didn't even host the torrent files but indexed other torrent sites.

Re:Purpose and intents (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506688)

You pull up Canonical, as to say that we need copyright law to enforce the GPL?

That is correct. However, it is so because the law is the tool available for enforcing the philosophy of *sharing*. I'm sure RMS would be ok with a law that did away with copyrights and said that all code and culture that was distributed should be freely shareable.

Re:Purpose and intents (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506768)

1. Asperger's and being a geek are not mutually exclusive... not even remotely. In fact, it is closer to true to say "Asperger's is to Geek as Square is to Rectangle"

2. We do not need Copyright to have successful companies like Microsoft and Canonical. In fact, copyright on software is simply a misapplication of copyright law. Software has all sorts of properties that is not typically identified with things which are copyrightable. Books are copyrightable. I can own a book and do all the things I want with things I own except reproduce it for the purpose of sale. With software, we don't own it, we get a license to use it. Also, copyrighted materials don't usually also share the qualities of being patentable or otherwise appear to be "an invention" rather than an artistic creation. Software is a unique convergence every type of intellectual property that I can think of. It has the ability to hold trademark, copyright, and patent protection.

(You might as well stop reading here... this could go on for a long time... but I will get to a "point 3" or maybe a "point 2.1" later on)

Is software a "service"? No. It's a list of instructions for a processor to execute. The instructions were already written and I can maintain a copy of those instructions which is independent of a vendor. Is software a creative work? My programming background says "yes, sort of" because it takes a certain degree of creativity to build interesting and useful software, but it is not an expressive art so it's more like engineering and architecture. (architectural and engineering drawings are copyrightable, however) In any case, SOURCE CODE is a work of "authorship." But wait, we don't usually run source code -- we run binaries... compiled (constructed) machine-readable instructions which vary based on the architecture it was compiled for. So if buildings and mechanical devices (which are the compiled/constructed outcome of engineering and architectural drawings) are not eligible for copyright protection, then software shouldn't be eligible either. After all, all OTHER copyrightable works are able to be experienced by people through their senses. This is not the case with software -- people only get output generated by the list of executable instructions most often based on another source of data or input.

I suppose I could go on and on about software and patents as well, repeating the same points that have been repeated here for working on ten years it seems. But if software is worthy of patent protection, then so is entering "100" on a microwave oven. After all, that too is a series of instructions for operating a machine. It doesn't make "a whole new machine" does it? And neither does software -- software is an implementation of tiny elements of functionality of an existing invention. If I used a can opener as a screwdriver or a fingernail cleaner, did I just "invent" something? Sure it might be a novel use for something, but it is also "obvious" and so is the use of a series of instructions which are fully and completely documented by the inventors of processor units. Lego is patentable, but a "Lego thing" is not... or, well, should not be in my opinion. (This fits in nicely with nearly everyone's beef with the notion of patenting old things by adding "over the internet" to them... it's kind of the same thing!)

2.1. So why are Microsoft and Canonical successful? Producing copyright protected software is not the reason. If that's all they did, starting today, they would be out of business within five years. No, they provide services and support. And you don't need copyright protection to run a business which consists largely of services and support. And without the services and support, they would not exist. If software ceased to be recognized as having copyright protection, they would STILL be in business within five years.

Swords are made for killing people, so they should be illegal right? Well, no... I like the way they look and I think they look great hanging on a wall. And it is precisely this weapon's aesthetic qualities which enables them to be sold and collected nearly everywhere. (Interestingly, if I were a native of Japan, I would need a license to own a sword, but as a foreigner, I don't need one.) Guns are made for killing people... and animals... and cans and bottles too... okay... lots of positions for guns, but they are still "legal" (with lots of limits and conditions) to own and operate. Audio cassette tapes can be used for illegal reproduction of audio recordings and often were! Blank tapes were used extensively and even exclusively for that purpose by many and yet they remained legal because they had other legitimate uses... as does/did the VHS tape and more.

So what is the real difference between IsoHunt and Google? Is it brand name? Is it ownership and management? After all, they are technically very similar services. Is the difference you are looking for "reputation"???? I bet that's what it is you are basing your opinion on in this case. Reputation... hrm. Lots of things get a reputation that is not really deserved. Lots of things get ruled as illegal based on reputation. (Things like smoking marijuana, sex, rock and roll, dancing) I think extreme caution should be used when ruling against something based on its reputation. How many things do YOU do that were at any time controversial or even illegal because of its reputation?

And when it comes right down to it, IsoHunt is right! The other day, I was trying to acquire a "portable" version of a program to play with. The site I normally go to was malfunctioning so I went to google and ran a quick search. Google showed me where to get is in a split second. IsoHunt doesn't even come close to that level of performance and delivery. If IsoHunt in a switchblade pocket knife, then Google is a cross between a katana and a chainsaw because it's WAY more dangerous.

Re:Purpose and intents (2)

JSombra (1849858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506824)

"Google isn't solely made and used for distributing copyrighted content illegally. IsoHunt, as well as The Pirate Bay, is. Us geeks have to learn that such things matter in court."

So a otherwise gainfully employed part time drug dealer is is not doing anything illegal?

Intent, purpose, gain or even knowledge of the law are of little interest to the court's except at sentencing, which only occurs after the actual guilty/innocent verdict

Oh snap! (3, Interesting)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35505926)

Let's see now what the MPAA intends to do with this information.

Re:Oh snap! (5, Funny)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506122)

Pinky, I know what we're going to do tonight, TRY TO SUE THE WORLD!

Re:Oh snap! (2)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506144)

Pinky, I know what we're going to do tonight, TRY TO SUE THE WORLD!

In this version, they're both insane.

Re:Oh snap! (1)

BassMan449 (1356143) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506368)

Pinky, I know what we're going to do tonight, TRY TO SUE THE WORLD!

In both versions, they're both insane.

FTFY

Re:Oh snap! (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506382)

Well played, sir, well played.

Re:Oh snap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35506592)

No, in this version they are both genius and they'll probably win.

Re:Oh snap! (1)

Terwin (412356) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506742)

I always thought that Pinky was the genius and he just humors Brain for entertainment value.(it gets really boring in a mouse cage all day)

Re:Oh snap! (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506924)

The show creators did mention in interviews that they never specified which one was the insane one...

Re:Oh snap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35506406)

>Bu' how are we gonna do that, Brain?

>It's simple Pinky, we take over the law, then we use the law to destroy all those who get in our way.

Sadly, in this case, the law is something that these companies can easily mess around with and actually win.
The law is merely a stepping stone to the money tree on the other side.
Shit needs to be fixed. BADLY.

Re:Oh snap! (1)

lazyforker (957705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506974)

They'll continue trying to take down Isohunt because they're a much smaller target and their pockets are not as deep. Then they can start working their way up the food chain, using the results of smaller cases as precedent.

Re:Oh snap! (2)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35507032)

Well, once isoHunt is on the hook for a billion dollars, and a legal precedent has been set, then they sue Google for a zillion dollars!

Then then blow all that money in the next fiscal quarter on hookers and coke. And then they all die from withdrawal symptoms.

So here's hoping they win!

Absolutely! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35505928)

Google is how I find the stuff I want at IsoHunt et alia. Their own internal search engines are crap.

Re:Absolutely! (1)

Jonah Hex (651948) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506184)

filetype:torrent

Thank you Google!

HEX

Technicalities (1)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35505934)

Being the largest search engine on the internet by the margin Google is means that it's the largest search engine for nearly EVERY category. Still, some engines were created for torrents, and Google wasn't.

Re:Technicalities (5, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35505972)

In any event, I don't think "But he's doing it too!" has ever been considered a valid legal defense.

Re:Technicalities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35506146)

i'd imagine it is if you can get to the bottom of why what-they're-doing-too isn't getting them into trouble i.e. it's not illegal.

linking to and distributing *.torrent files is not illegal afaik.

and neither should you want it to be.

Re:Technicalities (1)

Lord Juan (1280214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506204)

In any event, I don't think "But he's doing it too!" has ever been considered a valid legal defense.

If it were, we all could get away with fraud and bribing (lobbying) as the rich folks does.

Re:Technicalities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35507002)

Hope you choke on your own dick.

Re:Technicalities (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506280)

It should be. Equal protection under the law and all that. Selective enforcement of laws is a major vector for corruption.

Re:Technicalities (1)

nowen2dot (1768088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506508)

Selective enforcement of laws is a major vector for corruption.

But suing isn't about enforcement of laws. Selectively defending ownership, perhaps. And there is nothing requiring them to sue everyone they intend to sue all in one lawsuit.

Wait...I'm defending the MPAA? Forget what I said!

Re:Technicalities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35506748)

So nobody can ever be sued or arrested because nobody else has been sued or arrested for what they did? Or is it that your first motion in court has to be a motion of "we're getting to it?" where you declare your intention to bankrupt yourself attempting to pursue action against every nationwide party you believe might be engaging in the same activity?

Sorry, but that's an incredibly lame position.

Re:Technicalities (2)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506300)

But if you can show that setting a precedent of "indexing being infringement" the courts may realize they are about to outlaw search engines in general. Not only does this make the judge think twice, but shines a bit of a light on Google prodding them to possible speak up on your behalf before it becomes THEIR problem as well.

It's actually a neat tactic once you think it through.

Re:Technicalities (1)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506348)

Isn't it a defense (albeit a weaker one) against copyright and trademark claims? If they can show that Google is getting a free pass, then it could be parlayed into a claim that the copyright holders aren't properly defending their claims?

I suspect they're not doing it to convince the judge/jury, as they are to force Google to get involved (since G probably doesn't want any sort of precedent around search result blacklisting.)

Re:Technicalities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35506936)

Isn't it a defense (albeit a weaker one) against copyright and trademark claims? If they can show that Google is getting a free pass, then it could be parlayed into a claim that the copyright holders aren't properly defending their claims?

Trademark yes, copyright no. Copyright doesn't have the "defend it or lose it" aspect.

Re:Technicalities (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35506976)

Copyrights are not treated the same as trademarks or patents. You can selectively choose when to enforce them.

As for the other argument, the claim that google was getting a free pass would only work if this were a criminal case, not a civil one. The justice system is required to investigate and prosecute any case where they have reasonable evidence of a crime occurring as a public duty. A civil litigant has no duty to anyone but themselves, or in the case of a company, their shareholders.

Re:Technicalities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35506536)

In criminal cases it can be. "Selective prosecution" is a procedural defense where the defendant argues that the state is prosecuting his class (gender, race, religion, whatever) in discriminatory manner. "He's doing it too, and you're not prosecuting him!" can be evidence to support this defense. (Obviously not applicable in a civil lawsuit.)

Re:Technicalities (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506164)

>>>some engines were created for torrents

Arresting me because my search engine scours & provides links to piratebay.org, torrents.com, et cetera..... makes as little sense as arresting me because I possess photos of murder victims.

I didn't commit the crime. THEY committed the crime. I'm not liable for the acts of others.

Next I suppose you'll arrest google for providing links to child porn (nudist websites).

Re:Technicalities (1)

Unkyjar (1148699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506250)

Next I suppose you'll arrest google for providing links to child porn (nudist websites).

Now that's just silly. You can't arrest a company... I mean, where will you put the handcuffs?

Re:Technicalities (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506366)

I give that argument a roughly 0% chance of success in court.

Seriously, at some point you (well, IsoHunt) have to be pragmatic and deal with the world / legal system as it actually is, not as they'd like it to be.

Re:Technicalities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35506568)

>>>some engines were created for torrents

Arresting me because my search engine scours & provides links to piratebay.org, torrents.com, et cetera..... makes as little sense as arresting me because I possess photos of murder victims.

A better analogy would be arresting you because you run a web site where users can click a button to cause a murder.

The torrent search engines make copyright infringement easier. While it is conceivable that they might be used to find content that is doesn't infringe copyright, the number of users who are not doing something illegal is insignificantly small.

I didn't commit the crime. THEY committed the crime. I'm not liable for the acts of others.

You helped them commit a crime. You knew it. You didn't try to change your site to prevent the crime. You went out of your way to advertise that your site could be used to commit a crime. You should be held accountable for that.

Next I suppose you'll arrest google for providing links to child porn (nudist websites).

If Google added search features to make finding child porn easy, they should be help liable.

If Google knew people were looking for child porn, and did nothing to mitigate the problem, you could argue it either way.

Google makes a reasonable effort to stop child porn from showing up in search results. They do research into image recognition for the purpose of filtering it. They measure it, and have people working to reduce the odds it shows up in search. They are trying to solve the problem, instead of blaming users while catering to the illegal demands of those same users.

Re:Technicalities (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506754)

Nudism isn't child-porn.

Re:Technicalities (1)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506210)

It does bring up a good point - if IsoHunt turned off the search engine, but still had the database exposed to search engines, are they still doing something wrong?

Yeah, but Google has lawyers (2)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35505940)

Real lawyers, and lots of them.

Re:Yeah, but Google has lawyers (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506474)

They are not real lawyers. They are led by geeks. They evolved. Some pose as IP lawyers. And they have a plan.

Re:Yeah, but Google has lawyers (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506922)

And soon, they will execute that plan!

Sorry, my kid's been watching too much Bolt.

Re:Yeah, but Google has lawyers (1)

rawler (1005089) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506546)

And a business besides search engine for pirated content.

Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35506088)

The US government already "knows" that Google is the bigger problem. You don't really think that Congress' threat of investigating Google for antitrust violations is really about antitrust violations do you?

Cloud logo? (2)

Tuan121 (1715852) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506128)

Is everything related to the internet suddenly lumped in with the Cloud now?

Re:Cloud logo? (0)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506224)

It has been for a long time. A cloud was the symbol used to represent "out there" on networking diagrams for years before the marketing asshats got a hold of it and started convincing morons that it actually meant something "new and fancy"

v0rtex (1)

merlock18 (1533631) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506446)

I thought google owned v0rtex.appspot.com, a torrent search engine.
whois doesnt agree...
Otherwise, I know no one who uses google to get .torrents... demonoid is the flavor of the week, im told.

Google to IsoHunt (1)

ashvagan (885082) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506522)

Mini-me, you complete me!

What Google is doing is irrelevant to this case (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35506556)

Sounds like the MPAA is suing IsoHunt not Google. What Google is doing doesn't matter as far as this case is concerned; they aren't a party to the case. Maybe the MPAA will go after Google next (not likely).

This is a typical infringer strategy: tell the court that some one else is doing it and more of it. Hasn't mattered in the past and will not matter in this case. The MPAA gets to choose who it wants to sue and when.

the reasoning of an 8-year old child (-1)

spirit_fingers (777604) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506578)

You have to be kidding me. That's IsoHunt's defense? "Somebody else out there is worse so why pick on us?" What a retarded rationale! They sound like my 8 year old nephew who protested the other day when he was chastised for calling his little sister a "biatch", because he heard a classmate call his sister a biatch so why couldn't he? Well kid, two wrongs don't make a right and you were the one caught doing it so you're the one getting read the riot act. Deal with it.

Re:the reasoning of an 8-year old child (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506874)

So, you chastise IsoHunt for using the defense of an 8 year old, and back up that position with the logic and reasoning of...errrr...an 8 year old:

Well kid, two wrongs don't make a right...

Maybe you missed the memo, but the world got more complicated than that after kindergarten.

Re:the reasoning of an 8-year old child (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35506886)

Imagine isohunt is your nephew and google is someone your age. They both called that little girl a "biatch". Guess who gets called out for it?

Going after google is probably *quite* intimidating.

Re:the reasoning of an 8-year old child (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506972)

On the contrary, it's a brilliant move. They essentially just named Google as a co-defendant (not really, but the effect is similar), which means now Google is providing lawyers and cash towards their side, if only to preemptively defend themselves. Google vs MAFIAA is a much fairer fight than IsoHunt vs MAFIAA.

Re:the reasoning of an 8-year old child (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506982)

Of course, that doesn't mean the argument isn't childish. It just means that your nephew likely has a career in law ahead of him.

Re:the reasoning of an 8-year old child (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#35507038)

Well kid, two wrongs don't make a right...

You went the wrong way with it.

The assumption is that what google does is not wrong.

The point of IsoHunt's defense is not that "two wrongs make a right", but rather that google is doing nothing wrong, and that isohunt is really just a search engine like google, and therefore, like google, isohunt is not doing anything wrong.

To paraphrase your analogy:

"They sound like my 8 year old nephew who protested the other day when he was chastised for calling his little dog a "bitch", because he heard a veterinarian call his dog a bitch so why couldn't he?"

Frankly I'd be proud if my 8 year old made that argument. Its a good argument.

Re:the reasoning of an 8-year old child (1)

destroygbiv (896968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35507044)

You're missing the point. They're still arguing over whether or not what they've done is illegal. Paramount to your nephew calling his little sister "Beach," getting in trouble, and arguing that it's a nickname that even the teacher uses when referring to her. Isohunt: What I did is not illegal. Court: Yes it was, this is what you did. Isohunt: No, that is not illegal. See, Google does it and you don't prosecute them. Precedent for its legality.

What happened to torrents are free speech? (1)

BlueCoder (223005) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506622)

There can be no denying that torrents are speech. Torrent files in and of themselves are only contact data.

The supreme court can rule that giving money to political causes is free speech but publishing the phone number of a hooker isn't?

Re:What happened to torrents are free speech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35506718)

Shall I understand that you want all these things protected, including giving money to political causes?

Go ahead MPAA... (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506878)

Sue Google. I can't wait to watch you and your bullshit case go down in flames faster than the fucking Hindenburg.

Wonder what would happen... (1)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 3 years ago | (#35506932)

...if ISOhunt changed their search engine for a day, so that any searches were just forwarded to google with a filetype:torrent string appended?

It wouldn't make any difference to the legal case of course, which is more about ISOhunt being poor and accessible (and therefore prosecutable), unlike google. It'll also show users what magic incantations they need to mutter if/when torrent aggregators are closed, and maybe then we'll see MPAA vs. Google.

I don't torrent myself, I just buy lots of DVD's (except when I can't get a hold of a work by legitimate means - I'm not aware of anyone who's able to sell Dunvavi Karatan Adam for instance), but there are plenty of people at work who do (well, torrent and newsgroups), and every so often you'll come in and find an unmarked 500GB drive on your desk. People who don't contribute to the drive but copy stuff from it have to buy the first round at the pub. People who bring in a drive are excused from buying rounds next time at the pub. Works remarkably well for groups of 5-10 people.

P.S. I'm told rounds aren't that common outside of the UK, but I'm thinking that, seeing as they're obviously a facilitator of illegal file sharing, they should be banned. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BritishPubs [tvtropes.org]

Already tried (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35507054)

The Pirate Bay tried this defense. Didn't work out too well for them now, did it?

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