Earlier this year when the RIAA was just suing students who created local search tools for MP3s, we wondered why no one pointed out to the RIAA that a search tool is perfectly legal. In reality, it's no different from Google. However, because the RIAA can threaten huge fines, all of the students realized it was much more cost effective to just settle. Now, down in Australia, someone is finally using the "um... it's just a search engine" defense. This case has a bunch of problems. First, the music industry there has sued an ISP for a site they host. We've gone through this numerous times in the US, but the ISP shouldn't be liable for what its customers do online. If they were, nothing would ever get done online, because the ISP would need to review all content before it could go online. Next, the ISP has pointed out that the site in question is merely a search engine which looks for MP3s online, but doesn't actually host any themselves. They wonder if the music industry is preparing to go after Yahoo next. The lawyers for the recording industry demonstrate their ignorance of technology by saying that the site is "totally different" from a search engine because it helps people find MP3s. Right. And a search engine helps people find web pages. While I have reservations about the idea as well, sometimes you wonder if lawyers and judges involved in technology cases should be required to understand a little bit about technology before they get involved in such cases.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- Kansas City Cops Tell Man They'll Kill His Dogs And Destroy His Home If Forced To Obtain A Search Warrant
- Most Big Internet Companies Speak Out For Major Surveillance Reform
- Witness In No Fly List Trial, Who Was Blocked From Flying To The Trial, Shows That DOJ Flat Out Lied In Court
- Feds Insist It Must Be Kept Secret Whether Or Not Plaintiff In No Fly List Trial Is Actually On The No Fly List
- Documents Show LA Sheriff's Department Hired Thieves, Statutory Rapists And Bad Cops