Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Australian ISP Points Out Sued MP3 Site Is Just A Search Engine

from the finally... dept

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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Beck, Oct 23rd, 2003 @ 9:53am

    No Subject Given

    What about this site that provides an index to mp3 files on Usenet? I suppose they'll be next?

    Speaking of Usenet, what about all of the alt.binaries.mp3 Usenet newsgroups? I wonder when the RIAA is going to go after every company that runs a news server that holds mp3 files? And what about companies like Forte and Microsoft that sell news readers that allow people to download mp3 files from the newsgroups?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Beck, Oct 23rd, 2003 @ 10:01am

    Re: No Subject Given

    I should point out that the site I linked above doesn't provide the ability to download mp3 files, it just tells you where they are. However they do provide a link to a Lycos tutorial that describes how to download files from newsgroups. I guess Lycos is going to hear from the RIAA too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Joe Schmoe, Oct 23rd, 2003 @ 10:49am

    Re: No Subject Given

    SSShhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! ;)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    anon, Oct 23rd, 2003 @ 3:23pm

    Re: Usenet?

    What? Usenet doesnt have any MP3's, DVD's or programs on it. Its all text! ;)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Reader, Oct 24th, 2003 @ 2:00am

    content control?

    MMMMMM with all this suing going on. why isnt there any class action suits against the music industry - RIAA blah, etc,... and their cronies. u know , the dopey tech stupid legal assistants they hire. i wont call them lawyers since all they are after is the nice service fee. they just waste tax payers money, better elese spent :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    scott, Nov 21st, 2003 @ 4:47pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    Yeah, fuck you riaa, you should be more normal, all I can say is music is not yours you fuckers, its ours to enjoy, because "WE" make them get to where they are now you anti-social fucks with back hair.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.