by Mike Masnick
Tue, Dec 3rd 2013 7:53pm
by Mike Masnick
Mon, Dec 2nd 2013 5:34am
from the a-bit-of-good-news dept
In the present case, there is no evidence that the Defendants (or Hotfile’s founders) are ‘pirates’ or ‘thieves,’ nor is there evidence that they were ‘stealing’ or engaged in ‘piracy’ or ‘theft.’ Even if the Defendants had been found to have directly infringed on the Plaintiffs’ copyrights, such derogatory terms would add nothing to the Plaintiffs’ case, but would serve to improperly inflame the jury.The MPAA tried to argue that these were commonly used, but apparently the judge realized that using these misleading words really would be unfair. Hopefully other courts follow suit.
by Mike Masnick
Fri, Nov 22nd 2013 8:36am
from the even-if-we-take-the-bogus-stats-at-face-value dept
The report is incredibly misleading (and is being used in a misleading way), but we'll get to that. Instead, let's start out by taking the report at face value, and assuming that it is accurate. The claim that the backers of the report (including NBCUniversal, which funded it) are latching onto is the big round number: the claim that:
for the first time, the contribution of the core copyright indus- tries of the U.S. economy surpassed one trillion dollars in 2012One Trillion! Big number. So big that the IIPA was even able to get the head of the Copyright Office, Maria Pallante, to highlight it in her presentation that coincided with the launch of the report. She apparently put that number on a single powerpoint slide and asked people to remember that number.
As we'll describe, that number doesn't actually say what Pallante and others are pretending it says, but even if it did... doesn't it suggest that the industries are doing fine? Even as infringement has continued to be a major issue, and there are new ways to share content around the globe, the data in the report suggests that the "core copyright industries" have continued to grow and thrive at a very consistent pace -- completely contrasting the supposed doom and gloom these same folks tell us about how piracy is supposedly killing these industries.
Instead, the report shows a steady increase in revenue within these industries, a steady increase in employment and a steady increase in the salaries of those employed in those industries -- in which they make more than people in many other industries. Basically, every chart in the report suggests that the "core copyright industries" are thriving, especially compared to the wider economy. Take, for example, the compensation chart:
But... of course, that's not how the IIPA and its supporters are spinning this report. Instead, they're using it to argue that "the core copyright industries" are "so important" to the US economy that they need to new laws and protection:
"This study represents a milestone," said Steven J. Metalitz, counsel to the IIPA. "In order to preserve and enhance jobs, exports and economic contributions, it is critical that we have strong legal protections for U.S. creativity and innovation in the U.S. and abroad."But... neither of those claims follows from the numbers presented. If these people knew anything about basic economics, they'd know that protectionism doesn't help grow markets -- it constrains them. The way you "strengthen" employment in these markets is by allowing competition and innovation to flow, which is the exact opposite of the legal regime they're pushing for. Of course, everyone knows what this is really about. The report is supplied by a few legacy players in this space, the ones threatened by innovation and upstarts. It's being pushed by the gatekeepers who don't want to compete. They don't want there to be more competition and innovation, because that tends to allow artists and creators to go direct -- and not to have to rely on gatekeepers, who take an 85% cut of all revenue.
[....] "This report makes it crystal clear that workers in the creative industries make a huge contribution to America's economy," said Matt Loeb, international president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, which represents crew members on movies and TV shows. "It also underscores the urgent need to do more to build, strengthen and protect employment in this dynamic part of our nation's economy."
Even worse, the report is incredibly misleading -- in effect allowing Siwek, the IIPA, Maria Pallante and other copyright maximalists to blatantly use the success of others who did not rely at all on copyright to support their notions that we need more copyright. That's because of a basic fact that is totally ignored in the report: just because you produce "copyright" covered content, it does not mean that you needed copyright to do so, or that you require copyright laws to do so. Instead, the report and its supporters are falsely claiming that every bit of revenue from the "core copyright industries" is because of strict copyright law. That's provably false. Hell, technically, the revenue that this very site that you're reading now produces is almost certainly included in that "$1 trillion." We're very much a part of the "core copyright industries." And yet we don't rely on copyright. At all. In fact, we dedicate all of our content to the public domain.
And it goes beyond that. A significant portion of the revenue they're discussing actually comes from computer software:
It's not just blatantly dishonest, it's co-opting the economic activity that disproves their argument to pretend it supports their argument. That Maria Pallante would quote that number and support it suggests serious problems in how the Copyright Office views things today. This kind of report has no business being taken seriously, let alone being used in any policy arguments at all. But, if it is, at the very least, people should point out that, if taken at face value, it pretty clearly shows that the copyright maximalists have been flat out lying about their industries struggling, and how they need things like SOPA, TPP and other legal changes.
by Mike Masnick
Mon, Nov 18th 2013 8:42am
USTR Insists Secret, MPAA-Backed TPP Is 'Most Transparent Trade Negotiation In History'... From Hollywood Studio
from the does-anyone-believe-this-crap? dept
But, it happened. Of course, the interview was with Variety, so maybe they figured that only Hollywood people would read it, and that the rest of the world would never catch on to the fact that Froman is either totally clueless or a blatant liar about the TPP. However, he did give an interview, while "touring Paramount's backlot" in which he said a bunch of nutty things. Here's my favorite:
He also called the talks over the trade pact “the most transparent trade negotiation in history,” noting that they have held more than 1,000 briefings on Capitol Hill, have enlisted 600 advisers for input from various groups and have invited stakeholders to address negotiators from all 12 countries, among other efforts.Let's just say, this is pure bullshit. Extreme bullshit. Honestly, even Variety (which, as you might imagine, tends to toe the Hollywood line) seems to suggest that this claim isn't actually true. And, of course, considering that the USTR is infamously secretive, being "the most transparent in history" doesn't mean you were actually transparent at all. And, in this case, the fact that he's claiming it's "the most transparent in history" days after a chapter that no one in the public has seen during nearly four years of negotiations had to be leaked should highlight the level of bullshit that Froman is spewing.
He seems to have pulled this "most transparent" bullshit from his predecessor, Ron Kirk, who used to claim the same thing. Both are fundamentally trying to mislead. We've said it before, and we'll say it again, listening to lots of people, while not revealing what you're doing, is not transparency. It's listening. Listening may be better than not listening, but it's completely different than "transparency." Let me make this even clearer:
- Listening: People ---- information -----> USTR
- Transparency: USTR --- information ----> The Public
The other bit of bullshit in the interview was his misleading response to the claim by some that TPP is like SOPA. Now, I should be clear that we've avoided making that comparison, because there is a different set of issues here. And Froman used those differences to try to discredit all criticism of TPP:
“For example, as I understand it, I wasn’t around for it, (the Stop Online Piracy Act) was about blocking rogue Internet sites from accessing the Internet from the United States. There is nothing in the Trans Pacific Partnership, zero, that has anything to do with that,” he said.But "blocking rogue websites" isn't what's making people make the comparison between TPP and SOPA. It's two things: (1) a backroom deal negotiated in secret with no input from the public which (2) includes basically a wishlist from Hollywood. The fact that the two wishlists are not identical is not really the point, but it's the point Froman chose to focus on, because he's trying to mislead the public.
Froman continues to demonstrate that he has no business in the role he's in:
“Our goal through these trade negotiations is to make sure we are raising the standard of protection around the world, for artists and the people who support them,” he said.Except that's not supposed to be the goal at all, and the fact that he thinks it is makes him clearly unqualified for his job. Remember that the TPP is supposed to be about free trade, yet here he is admitting that his actual agenda is increasing protectionism. Second, as anyone who knows anything about intellectual property knows, "raising the standard of protection" has been shown repeatedly to be rather harmful to creators and the public. And, again, the entire purpose of copyright law is supposed to be about promoting progress for the public. It would appear that Froman doesn't know this. And yet he's in charge of negotiating this thing? Really?
This is the reason why transparency matters. Because when you take someone who doesn't understand intellectual property at all, such as Froman, and tell him to negotiate a trade agreement in which the only people he shares the negotiating text with are maximalists, all he hears is how they have to "raise" standards, even as most of the world has realized that the "standards" are already way too high and tremendously damaging to the economy and innovation.
Either way, this whole situation is incredible. You have the USTR, just days after the secret treaty that was written with the help of Hollywood's lobbyists is leaked out, declaring that it's the most transparent in history despite the fact that, if he had his way, none of the public would have seen it, and saying so while touring Hollywood studios. The USTR is either extremely confident that no one cares about trade agreements, or a large segment of the staff there is profoundly clueless. Or maybe it's both.
SOPA was taken down because it was a backroom deal and a Hollywood wishlist, without respect for the public. ACTA went down for the same reason. If Froman doesn't want the same thing to happen to TPP, he might want to learn a thing or two about intellectual property and what transparency means. Because as of right now, he appears to be setting himself up to be roadkill for another internet uprising.
by Mike Masnick
Fri, Nov 15th 2013 10:42am
from the do-these-guys-never-think-anything-through? dept
The thing is, the MPAA should know that this is a recipe for disaster. In 2007, Jhannet Sejas went to see Transformers, and filmed 20-seconds to send to her brother to get him excited to go see the movie. The result? Police were called, she was arrested and threatened with jailtime. She was eventually pressured into pleading guilty to avoid jailtime. Samantha Tumpach wasn't quite so lucky. She, along with her sister and her friends, went out to the movies in 2009 to celebrate her sister's birthday. Since they were all having fun, she decided to film some of the group while they were watching the movie. Once again, police were called and she was arrested and spent two nights in jail. After widespread public outcry, prosecutors dropped the charges.
Given those high profile cases, combined with the fact that smartphones have become more ubiquitous, and the pastime of taking photos and videos has become ever more popular, you'd think that maybe, just maybe, someone at the MPAA would think to teach theater owners to be a bit more lenient about the kid just taking a photo or filming a couple seconds of a video. But that's not how the MPAA operates. Its goal in life seems to be to think up ways of how it must have been wronged, and its weird and stupid obsession with movies captured by people filming in the theaters is really quite ridiculous.
The MPAA has now released its latest "best practices" for theaters, and it's basically exactly what you should do if you want to piss off the demographic of folks who actually go to theaters. You can see the whole thing here if you want to see exactly what not to do.
And the MPAA is Obnoxious
The MPAA recommends that theaters adopt a Zero Tolerance policy that prohibits the video or audio recording and the taking of photographs of any portion of a movie.Even better, the MPAA reminds theaters that they should tell employees about their "TAKE ACTION! REWARD," in which employees who capture an evil pirate in action get a whopping $500. In order to get the award, one of the requirements is "immediate notification to the police." The theaters have to have posters, like the one above, on display if they want their employees to get the cash, so expect to see that kind of crap in theaters everywhere. And expect that employees seeking to cash in on that TAKE ACTION! REWARD to be calling the cops all the freaking time, because some kid raises his iPhone to take a quick picture of his buddies or something cool on screen.
Theater managers should immediately alert law enforcement authorities whenever they suspect prohibited activity is taking place. Do not assume that a cell phone or digital camera is being used to take still photographs and not a full-length video recording. Let the proper authorities determine what laws may have been violated and what enforcement action should be taken.
Theater management should determine whether a theater employee or any other competent authority is empowered to confiscate recording devices, interrupt or interfere with the camcording, and/or ask the patron to leave the auditorium.
Could the MPAA really be so out of touch and so completely oblivious that they think this is a good idea? Do they not employ anyone who has spent any time around teens and folks in their 20s? Do they honestly think that most police officers don't have better things to do than rush to the local theater every 15 minutes because some employee is trying to get his $500 and the way to do that is to turn in the kids having fun and trying to share the experience (not the movie itself)? And, most importantly, does no one at the MPAA think that maybe, just maybe, turning theater employees into complete assholes will make fewer people want to go see movies?
Of course they don't. That's because the MPAA is made up of lawyers, like this guy, who are obsessed with one thing, and one thing only: "evil pirates who must be stopped." It really seems like when the movie industry does well, it's in spite of the MPAA. What a disastrous organization, working against the industry's actual interests.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Oct 23rd 2013 8:32am
from the simple-questions dept
Of course, as we've noted over and over again, there is almost no indication at all the "problem" the industry faces is an education problem. Instead, it appears to be a problem of their own making, in that they refuse to recognize what the public is demanding, and thus are failing to deliver the product properly. Furthermore, this focus on "education" has never been shown to work. Past attempts to educate school kids resulted in kids rolling their eyes and verbally mocking such obvious propaganda. Furthermore, historical attempts at "educating" people not to copy have never worked. And that's because it's never actually been an education problem. Sure, many in the public may not be fully educated on the ins and outs of copyright law. But, that's generally not why they're engaging in unauthorized access to content. They're doing it because they want to see/hear/read/run/play the content, and often that's the most convenient way.
This incredible disconnect by the MPAA is exceptionally clear in the actions the MPAA was taking in its legal fight against IsoHunt, right before the two sides agreed to a silly $110 million settlement that will never be paid. Right before that settlement, TorrentFreak had a great article mainly discussing the MPAA's nearly apoplectic desire to avoid letting the jury hear anything about (the lack of) actual damages arising from IsoHunt. It was an interesting story, though not quite as sensationalistic as the original article suggests. The MPAA is actually legally correct in arguing that one of the key points for having statutory damages is so that the copyright holder doesn't have to go through the process of determining actual damages. I (and many others) have serious problems with the whole concept of statutory damages for this very reason -- because it seems absurd to order incredibly high damages when no actual harm was done -- but that is what the current law is.
That said, I think the story is more interesting because of a few other points. First, the MPAA totally misrepresented the law and what IsoHunt was arguing. The MPAA was correct in noting the nature of statutory damages, but took it out of context concerning that lawsuit. The MPAA would have been correct if IsoHunt was using the effort to research actual damages to try to get out from paying any damages. But it was not. IsoHunt had already lost that part of the lawsuit, and it was clear that the company was going to have to pay something. The question was how much.
IsoHunt was arguing, quite reasonably and well within the law, that in helping the jury determine where in the wider range of statutory damages the award should end up, it would be helpful to look at actual damages. That's perfectly reasonable. As it stands, a jury can award between $750 and $150,000 per infringement. All IsoHunt was arguing is that some showing of actual damages is reasonable for the jury to learn about to determine where in that rather large range the award should fall. That's both within the law and reasonable.
But much more insane and questionable was the MPAA's conduct in trying to pile on many more infringements after the fact. The case itself revolved around a claim of infringement of 44 different movie files, which IsoHunt was found guilty of "inducing." We have serious issues with the idea that a third-party software provider should be found guilty for the actions of its users, but, given that the court has already decided this, the range of statutory damages should clearly be based on those 44 files. Instead, however, at the very last minute, the MPAA added 3,903 more files to the list (3,190 of which are TV shows instead of movies) and said the statutory damages should be calculated on each of those files. That jacked up even the minimum statutory award from $33,000 to $2.96 million. And moved the maximum up from $6.6 million to $592 million. At that rate, $110 million looks like a "bargain."
But -- and this is the important part -- at no point has anyone, including the MPAA, proved in a court that IsoHunt "induced" the infringement of all of those files. In fact, as IsoHunt notes, they barely had any time to process the details of those files. In July, the MPAA suddenly announced that it was adding a bunch of files that weren't reviewed during the trial stage. It then refused to tell IsoHunt what those files were until September 16, when it provided it with a massive list of 4,145 files, barely giving IsoHunt any time at all to review all of those claims to see if they were legit. Furthermore, IsoHunt pointed out that, just in looking through the list and grabbing random samples, it found numerous examples where "the claimed infringement does not match the claimed work."
It should seem obvious that it's a massive abuse of basic due process to try someone over a specific legal infraction, and then only after the fact, at the point where damages are assessed, to magically add in thousands of more alleged infringements, which were never actually reviewed during the trial. And that's especially true in copyright cases, where different files may have different fact patterns and different defenses.
So why is the MPAA doing this? Even the judge in the case is befuddled, but the MPAA has its reason: education.
Even the judge was confused why the MPAA wanted to pile on so many extra files when it was clear that it wouldn't make a difference. The transcript reveals the whole "we want to learn them internet folks" mentality coming from the MPAA's lawyers:
THE COURT: What do you estimate to be the resources of [Defendants]? . . . What do you suspect?But this is how the legacy entertainment industry guys think -- and it (once again) shows how out-of-touch and clueless they are. In the past, they've made this same argument in trying to justify the massive awards courts ordered against Jammie Thomas-Rasset and Joel Tenenbaum. The highly compensated lawyers think that awards of many millions of dollars (or over $100 million against companies like IsoHunt and Limewire) help "educate" people away from such things by scaring them.
PLAINTIFF’S COUNSEL: Based on our estimate, Your Honor, we believe a couple to a few million dollars would exhaust Mr. Fung's or defendants' ability to pay...
PLAINTIFF’S COUNSEL: A couple to a few million dollars would exhaust defendants' --
THE COURT: Does that mean, like $2 million --
PLAINTIFF’S COUNSEL: Two million dollars to $4 million, $5 million at the most.
THE COURT: So why are you making such a fetish about 2,000 or 3,000 or 10,000 or 100 copyrights?
MR. FABRIZIO: Your Honor, the purpose of statutory damages is not only to seek compensation from the defendants, extraordinarily important purpose is to create -- send a message to other would-be infringers like defendants, and there are thousands of them.... THE COURT: But if you strip him of all his assets -- and you're suggesting that a much lesser number of copyrights would accomplish -- copyright infringements would accomplish that, where is the deterrence by telling the world that you took someone's resources away because of illegal conduct entirely or 50 times over?
But what they don't realize is that this strategy almost certainly backfires badly every single time. That's because the money is too high. To average people making average amounts of money (i.e., not the lawyers the RIAA and MPAA hires, nor the execs from either of those organizations), millions of dollars is not a large number that is scary. It's an inconceivable abstract concept. It's so insane to actually feel unrealistic. It has no deterrent factor, because it's incomprehensible. Your average person doing some random file sharing recognizes that having to pay over a million dollars for such actions is so patently ridiculous that it doesn't even register as being something to be afraid of. It's not realistic.
You don't "educate" people with such high numbers. It's only the money-obsessed RIAA and MPAA that think the higher the number, the scarier the message, and the more effective the education. The reality is quite different. It just makes people respect those organizations less, and find the entire legal effort completely surreal and detached from reality. The RIAA and MPAA have gotten these types of awards before, and it has had no real impact. People continue to access unauthorized content, and new platforms and services (often harder to track down) pop up every single time one of these sites gets shut down.
The MPAA thinks that it has to keep ratcheting up the "education" by seeking ever more ridiculous numbers, but at what point do they realize this doesn't work and has never worked? When the "punishment" seems perfectly absurd to anyone with common sense, and tactics like piling on thousands of extra infringements not mentioned in the trial raise significant questions of due process and fairness, all the MPAA is doing is making sure that people have less respect and less interest in actually paying attention to the details of copyright law, because the MPAA (along with the RIAA) has worked so damn hard to "educate" the world that the punishments associated with copyright law make absolutely no sense.
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Oct 22nd 2013 5:33am
from the but-of-course dept
"[It] led to a lot of people watching the series who otherwise would not have."Of course, at this point, this shouldn't be surprising. Folks behind Game of Thrones have more or less said the same thing. Of course, they also try to hedge their claims. Gilligan, for example, followed up his statement above with the following:
"The downside is a lot of folks who worked on the show would have made more money, myself included, if all those downloads had been legal."Except, that's wrong. Or, rather, it's fantasy-world. If people hadn't pirated it, Breaking Bad would have had a much smaller audience, and likely a much shorter run. Recent interviews with the writing staff suggested they expected the show to be cancelled many times throughout the run. If it wasn't getting more and more viewers, it seems likely that it would have been canceled much earlier, and Gilligan's reputation and brand wouldn't be as wonderful as it is currently. It seems quite likely that it would have resulted in him making less money both from Breaking Bad itself and from future projects, where he'll now be able to command a much larger paycheck, given this success.
The MPAA is right that it's "complex," but the constant drumbeat that it's a problem that needs to be fixed seems to ignore the reality that those who have embraced much more widespread distribution and the benefits it provides, have found that it's not necessarily a problem at all. It's only a problem for those who fail to capitalize on it (and, we should note, that "failing to capitalize on new opportunities" is sort of a trademark of the MPAA).
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Oct 17th 2013 11:49am
from the which-will-never-get-paid dept
Of course, even if IsoHunt did pay that kind of money, how much would go to artists?
Unfortunately, there were many, many problems with the IsoHunt case in the first place. It was a clear case of bad facts making bad law -- or what Eric Goldman has referred to as the difference between real law and file sharing rule. It's clear, for example, that there was a tremendous amount of infringement done via IsoHunt. But there are serious questions about whether or not the liability for that should fall on IsoHunt as a torrent search engine. IsoHunt remains really the only significant case where the court has accepted Hollywood's bizarre interpretation of "red flag knowledge" in copyright infringement. And, really, that's why the MPAA wanted so damn badly to get this case finished without an appeal.
Now, unfortunately, the MPAA can continue to point to the rulings in IsoHunt, including many of the more problematic claims around inducement liability and red flag knowledge, knowing that they can't be directly challenged in that case any more. You can understand why IsoHunt settled. The company had already lost the key fights, and it was going to get hit with a giant sum to pay no matter what -- clearly more than it could ever pay. So why go through the process of continuing the court fight, when a settlement just gets it over and done with? At that point, the quibble is just about what bogus number the MPAA gets to lead the press release with, and $110 million was apparently the winning ticket. It wouldn't have made a difference if it was $1.1 million or $1.1 billion, the result is basically the same.
Amusingly, Chris Dodd is out there claiming that this is some sort of victory for innovation:
"Today’s settlement is a major step forward in realizing the enormous potential of the Internet as a platform for legitimate commerce and innovation,” said former Sen. Chris Dodd, chairman and chief executive of the MPAA. “It also sends a strong message that those who build businesses around encouraging, enabling, and helping others to commit copyright infringement are themselves infringers, and will be held accountable for their illegal actions.”Of course, it does nothing of the sort. If the shutting down of Napster, Grokster, Aimster and Limewire failed to make that point, why will IsoHunt's shutdown and unpayable fine make that point any stronger? Either way, I'll have a bit more on this case soon, once I've had a chance to rewrite that other post in light of this latest turn of events.
by Mike Masnick
Fri, Oct 11th 2013 2:02pm
from the nice-work-guys dept
Plaintiffs' BT_ID List identifies dot-torrent file 2224 as corresponding to Plaintiffs' work "Legends of the Fall."There's more like that. IsoHunt's legal team points out that the MPAA has yet to actually produce any documents that are "sufficient to accurately identify their works," and that it will take a fair bit of time to actually look through all 2,000 torrent files and check whether the they actually lead to the works claimed -- an impossible task in the amount of time IsoHunt has to respond to all of this.
Plaintiffs produced a copy of a dot-torrent file named "2224.torrent" on September 19, 2013. But opening the dot-torrent file "2224.torrent" in a BitTorrent client causes it to begin attempting to download a copy of a work entitled "Buddha Bar - Vol 4."
The target file of the 2224.torrent file could not be downloaded.
Plaintiffs' BT_ID List identifies dot-torrent file 3630 as corresponding to Plaintiffs' work "Seven Years in Tibet."
Plaintiffs produced a copy of a dot-torrent file named "3630.torrent" on September 19, 2013. But opening that dot-torrent file in a BitTorrent client causes it to begin attempting to download a copy of a work entitled "Transformers."
The target file of the 3630.torrent file could not be downloaded.
Plaintiffs' BT_ID List identifies dot-torrent file 16170 as corresponding to Plaintiffs' work "Lords of Dogtown."
On September 28, 2013, I launched the dot-torrent file "16170.torrent" using the BitTorrent client uTorrent, which downloaded eighteen files from the Internet. I reviewed each of the files and determined that none of them is the movie "Lords of Dogtown." Indeed, none of the files is a video file. Rather, the downloaded files comprise sixteen mp3 audio files, an m3u file (which when opened plays each of the sixteen audio files in sequence), a .sfv file (which I understand contains information to verify that files are uncorrupted), and a .nfo file that contains textual information about the audio files. Launching the 16170.torrent file using a BitTorrent client results in a download of audio files identical to the content files Plaintiffs actually produced on their hard drive on September 19, 2013.
I know that the MPAA likes to assume these sites are clearly guilty with no chance of being proven innocent, but you'd think the least they could do is not muck up the actual evidence.
by Mike Masnick
Fri, Sep 20th 2013 9:40am
As Expected, MPAA's Filter For IsoHunt Blocks Plenty Of Legit Content, Even As MPAA Whines It's Not Good Enough
from the because-filtering-is-stupid dept
And it's still happening today. Even as the MPAA is claiming that IsoHunt has constructed its filter to still let people infringe, there are reports coming out about how ridiculously broad and stupid the filter is, such that plenty of legitimate and authorized content is getting caught and blocked. It appears, for reasons that make no sense, the MPAA has more or less made IsoHunt set up blanket blocks on certain terms, no matter how generic:
TorrentFreak goes on to note that this single filter item of "the kingdom" has resulted in a whole bunch of authorized content getting blocked:
This week artist Elliot Wallace found out that the music he shares with a Creative Commons license is blocked for U.S. visitors. Those who try to download his two track album “The Spirit Truth” will see the following error message.
“Torrent has been censored, as required by US court.”
Needless to say, Wallace doesn’t want his music to be blocked. However, one of his tracks is titled “In the Kingdom of the Undead” which contains “The Kingdom,” a combination of words which the MPAA deems infringing.
For example, legitimate torrents blocked by “The Kingdom” phrase include an album with Reggaeton music, a selection of sermons preached at the North Main Church of Christ and a live concert from Uncle Earl. All these files are also hosted on the Internet Archive and can be shared freely.And that's just a single phrase. There are many others, some of which the article highlights.
Meanwhile, I'm curious if anyone actually thinks this is making someone do such a search and then go give money to an MPAA-associated studio? I find that doubtful.