TorrentSpy Gives Up; Shuts Down

from the there-goes-another-one dept

The saga between TorrentSpy and MPAA will certainly be declared a "win" (if not a "significant blow") by the MPAA, but it's really more of a sad statement on the way the entertainment industry goes about its business. TorrentSpy announced earlier this week that it was shutting down and giving up, not due to any court order, but mainly because it was sick of the whole process and it didn't seem likely that the judge was going to see its side of the story. If you recall, TorrentSpy lost its case, but not on the copyright claim. Instead it was based on TorrentSpy potentially having destroyed some important evidence. It does look like the company (stupidly) did destroy some evidence, though some of the "destroyed evidence" was TorrentSpy's refusal to keep log files on its users, something it felt would be a violation of its own privacy policy. Based on the destruction of evidence problem, it's not too surprising that the company shut down -- but there really was no ruling at all on the more important question of whether or not simply operating a search engine counts as "inducement." This case also highlighted some of the MPAA's more unethical moves, including having someone hack into TorrentSpy's email servers and forward internal emails to the MPAA. So, while the MPAA will surely declare victory, all the case actually showed was (a) how unethical the MPAA can be (b) that it was able to shut down a site with owners who stupidly destroyed evidence and (c) that no ruling was made on the actual claims concerning copyright.

Filed Under: copyright, evidence, mpaa, torrentspy
Companies: mpaa, torrentspy


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2008 @ 1:34pm

    Re: That really sucks!!

    I was just on wikipedia & I thought this was kind of ironic. I guess it is OK for them to copy movies. I hate hypocrites!!!

    "On January 24, 2006, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) admitted to making duplicates of a digital copy of the film that was provided to them for the purpose of obtaining an MPAA rating. According to the film's director, Kirby Dick, he sought assurances that no copies would be made or distributed for any other purpose.[citation needed]

    The MPAA admitted to making copies of the film contrary to Dick's wishes although they contend that doing so did not constitute copyright infringement or a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). They say that the privacy of the raters themselves might have been violated by Dick. Since no complaint has been filed against Dick, and since the DMCA addresses the act of subverting access control and not copying, it is unclear whether the MPAA's justification is legally sound.[citation needed]

    Dick's lawyer, Michael Donaldson, has requested that the MPAA destroy all copies of the film in their possession and notify him of who has seen the film and received copies.[citation needed]

    The DVD version of the film contains deleted scenes that showed both phone calls where Kirby Dick was assured that no copy would be made, and the last one, during which he found out that a copy had indeed been created."

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