Surprises

by Mike Masnick




How BitTorrent Plans To Get Sued

from the lawyers-are-scrambling... dept

While the entertainment industry may not really understand BitTorrent, they know they don't like it, and they know they've been searching for a good reason to sue Bram Cohen, the creator of BitTorrent. It looks like he might be handing them just what they're looking for. It appears that Cohen and a few others are getting ready to launch a BitTorrent search engine. Prior to this, the main reason that BitTorrent wasn't getting sued, was because it was clear that the technology was just the protocol. Suing over BitTorrent would be like suing "FTP" or "SMTP email." It's just the protocol. The real issue, was the ability to search and find unauthorized material -- which BitTorrent was totally separate from... until now. Hollywood has already gone after other BitTorrent search engines. While we agree that running such a search engine should be perfectly legal, clearly the entertainment industry doesn't see things that way. After all, it's just a search engine finding what's already out there. There shouldn't be anything illegal about that. However, with the Supreme Court still figuring out the final decision in the Grokster case, it seems like this BitTorrent search engine is the type of thing entertainment industry lawyers will pounce on. Of course, maybe that will just lead to another landmark lawsuit. The BitTorrent folks are being smart about the positioning on this one, by the way. They're making it clear that they view this BitTorrent search engine as a way for anyone to distribute their own, homemade video works -- rather than a system used to support unauthorized transfers of content.

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  1. identicon
    mohamed, 18 Jun 2008 @ 11:40am

    yes

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