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
The MPAA has been engaged in an ongoing legal battle with torrent search engine IsoHunt, where a court ordered IsoHunt to wave a magic wand and block all infringement based on an MPAA list of what has to be blocked. This is pretty stupid for a variety of reasons. Hell, back in the Napster case over a decade ago, the judge made a similar requirement only to learn that filters suck for this kind of thing. There are two reasons for this: (1) they don’t do a very good job blocking infringing content, and (2) they always block legitimate content. While those two things may sound contradictory, they’re not. When such blocks go into place, people who really want to share unauthorized content quickly work out ways around the filters, whether it’s some sort of shorthand that avoids the filters or with some other simple to decipher system. Yet, for content that wants to be found, there’s no need for such basic obfuscation, and then the legit content gets blocked. In fact, last year we wrote about legitimate content being blocked.
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:
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.
TorrentFreak goes on to note that this single filter item of “the kingdom” has resulted in a whole bunch of authorized content getting blocked:
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.