MPAA Evidence In IsoHunt Case Doesn't Show What It Claims

from the nice-work-guys dept

The MPAA’s lawsuit against IsoHunt is still going on, and the latest shenanigans from the movie studios (yet again) raise significant questions about the (lack of) care with which they handle these cases. They often seem to act as if it’s so self-evident that any torrent search engine or cyberlocker is evil that they don’t really have to be that careful in actually proving their case. The latest, found via TorrentFreak, is that the evidence the MPAA is using to try to prove direct infringement doesn’t seem to show any infringement, because the evidence isn’t what they claim it is. Beyond failing to provide the necessary documents in a timely manner for discovery, now that the MPAA has finally produced the evidence, it appears completely screwed up. IsoHunt wanted to look through the details of the claims of direct infringement to see whether or not the movie studios had uploaded the works themselves, or if any of the downloads were also from the studios. The MPAA delayed handing over such information and when it finally sent a hard drive along with a corresponding explanation, the details didn’t match up.

Plaintiffs’ BT_ID List identifies dot-torrent file 2224 as corresponding to Plaintiffs’ work “Legends of the Fall.”

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.

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.

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.

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Companies: columbia, isohunt, mpaa

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Comments on “MPAA Evidence In IsoHunt Case Doesn't Show What It Claims”

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out_of_the_blue says:

SO? Isohunt lawyers at best QUIBBLING.

Sheesh. There may be some mis-labeling, but if WHATEVER is downloaded is infringed content, that’s adequate. — It may be that MPAA booby-trapped these to let the opposing lawyers unwittingly prove MPAA’s case, as every one exampled does.

Mike supports copyright, ya know, so he’s for Isohunt to be punished to full extent of the law.

RD says:

Re: SO? Isohunt lawyers at best QUIBBLING.

Proof you are a shill, paid or unpaid.

You can’t be bothered to respond to your detractors in the Aero thread, or any others, for an entire day, but you SWOOP in to be the FIRST commenter on an *AA/Big Media/Big Media/Big Copyright topic.

You aren’t a real person, you are a cardboard cutout.

James Burkhardt (profile) says:

Re: SO? Isohunt lawyers at best QUIBBLING.

A bunch of anti-OOTB trolls claim you hate due process, your comment here proves this. MPAA has committed fraud because the initial finding do not support the claims made by the MPAA. Suing because I downloaded ‘Dogtown’ if I actually downloaded the soundtrack to ‘Anastasia’ is called fraud and will not win in a court of law, because I can not defend adequately defined myself.

“mislabeling” is something you can not do in a court of law.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: SO? Isohunt lawyers at best QUIBBLING.

“if WHATEVER is downloaded is infringed content, that’s adequate”‘

I know you hate logic and due process, but this is incorrect.

The MPAA are suing over content it claims to hold the copyright for. The MPAA does not hold copyright on the Buddha Bar series of compilation CDs, nor likely the other audio recordings. Therefore, whether the work is infringing or not, the MPAA have no right to sue IsoHunt for infringing their property. If the claim is that Legends Of The Fall was infringed, but the evidence does not show this, then the evidence proves nothing.

If Mike were to sue you for defamation because of your constant lies here, it wouldn’t be acceptable for him to provide evidence of you lying about Tim, even though you do it regularly. No matter how many times you’re shown to be an obnoxious liar, the only way for Mike to get reparations from you via the court for you lying about him would be to provide evidence of that specific lie. It’s called due process.

If you want the protection of the law for your corporate masters, they have to follow it. Holding a copyright doesn’t mean that you’re exempt from it.

“as every one exampled does.”

Only in your fevered imagination. To anyone interested in facts, they showed that the files pointed to some other works that may be copyrighted (or may not be – just because a work is titled Transformers, that doesn’t mean that it’s a copyrighted work with that name that’s downloaded) and at least one work is unnamed. I know you wish that every MP3 file was infringing, but they’re not.

Now, they might well be infringing, but the only way to prove that would be to fully download them (potentially putting themselves under liability for infringement, since the material being downloaded is not covered under this court case), which is time consuming – the thing ISOHunt’s lawyers are saying they don’t have since they’ve been given fake “evidence” to work from.

it is telling, however, that you think that providing false evidence and wasting the court’s time is the best way to prove the MPAA’s point, rather than simply providing evidence of the claim before the court in the first place.

“Mike supports copyright, ya know, so he’s for Isohunt to be punished to full extent of the law.”

The law includes the right to a fair trial including the right to a fair defence against the evidence being used to prosecute you. Why do you not support the law?

Rikuo (profile) says:

I was going to open with “Before a certain someone vomits his usual idiocy” but that certain someone beat me to the punch…
Anyway, are the files in question copyrighted? More than likely, yes, since everything these days is copyrighted upon creation. However, the MPAA CANNOT sue over these files, at least not sue and win, since they don’t have the copyrights over these files. They have said they do, that these torrents point to movies that they (meaning the studios under the MPAA) own the copyrights for, but as is shown, they don’t.
Even if it is just a benign case of mis-labelling, that should be enough for IsoHunt to win, since any competent defense attorney will use to say that the prosecution’s evidence thus cannot be used.

Internet Zen Master (profile) says:

Re: Re:

You forgetting one thing Rikuo: the judge’s knowledge of how the computers and the Internet works.

You’re comment about the studios under the MPAA umbrella owning the copyright generated an interesting thought: what if the studios don’t want to sue Isohunt into oblivion over their copyright? Is the MPAA getting sue-happy without first letting owner know “hey, we found this website where people might be infringing on the copyright you own, so we’re gonna sue them into bankruptcy over it. kthnxbai!”

Makes you wonder how much of the money the studios who own the copyrights in question get out of these lawsuits, or do they just get the shaft while all that cash gets re-invested into the MPAA?

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

‘…the judge’s knowledge of how the computers and the Internet works.’

Or lack thereof.

In far, far too many cases of judges dealing with technology matters, they have demonstrated an appalling lack of knowledge on the subject they are ruling on, leading to some insanely stupid or foolish rulings, simply because they have no idea how the technology involved works.

Anonymous Coward says:

Heh, pisses me off too

I also hate when a torrent file isn’t what the search engine claimed it was… bah.

Even worse are the ones where you download it and it’s just a password protected archive with a requirement that you jump through a million revenue-generating hoops to get it.

So yeah, glad the MPAA got trolled just like the rest of us – and maybe they’ll learn that anyone can label something with “illegal shit we shouldn’t be distributing!!111” but it doesn’t necessarily prove that’s what is in the torrent.

corwin155 (profile) says:


heres how it really works
Movie studios find out they made bad movie
Movie studio gives MPAA bad copy of said bad movie
MPAA hands over bad movie copy of bad movie to paid conspirators
paid conspirators have list of sites MPAA wants to sue and uploads to those sites
Movie studios look on those sites make a public out cry they lost money
MPAA now sues those sites
MPAA gets paid
Movie studios get paid
the whole trick was to fool courts into suing for money
the whole plan was for said Movie studio to get paid for the bad movie it made in first place

Larry says:

What a witch hunt! And what a ridiculous use of the law to intimidate people. No matter though, they can’t stop these sites as a whole, even if they make an example out of one or two of them. And if the pressure gets higher, they’ll just move underground where they can’t be messed with at all. Even now there are products like the torch browser to get past restrictions on these sites. Good luck governments, but you can’t stop this stuff, it’s way too late.

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