Judge Tells IsoHunt To Wave Magic Wand; Block All Infringement

from the good-luck-with-that dept

This really is not a huge surprise, but in the IsoHunt case the judge has now ordered site operator Gary Fung to magically stop anyone from infringing (Update: as noted in the comments this is just a "proposed" order, but it seems likely that this is where the judge is heading). It is, as Fung notes, effectively a shut down order. There's no legitimate way for Fung to magically know what content is infringing and what is not, since his system is really no different than a search engine. While the original ruling concerned a few of Fung's actions that the judge claimed were inducing, it looks like the judge won't even give Fung a chance to try to set up a non-inducing search engine.

There are some odd statements in the ruling, including the judge claiming:
"It is axiomatic that the availability of free infringing copies of plaintiffs' works through defendants' websites irreparably undermines the growing legitimate market for consumers to purchase access to the same works,"
There's just one (big) problem with that. It is not at all axiomatic. We've seen many content creators embrace file sharing as part of a legitimate market, and in doing so, make more money. So the judge is claiming something that is a universal truth that is false. That seems quite troubling.

Separately, the ruling seems to suggest that a keyword filter might stop the infringement. That takes me back. Judge Patel in the original Napster case made the same demand, and it was a disaster, because a keyword filter is useless.

But the bigger issue is that the judge seems to have gone way beyond what the law actually says and allows in this situation. The site can be barred for inducing infringement, but that doesn't mean a site automatically must block anything that might be infringing.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Brendan (profile), Mar 31st, 2010 @ 5:16pm

    NewzBin handed a similar fate

    I've submitted the NewzBin story, which received a similar ruling this week.

    This whole inducement/secondary liability business is such a crock.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 5:57pm

    come on, it's so easy to tell if a work is infringing, I mean, all one has to do is ask a simple question: is the work on the internet?

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 6:09pm

    Re:

    So...you're infringing?

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 6:15pm

    Re: Re:

    aren't we all? every day? hundreds of millions of us?

     

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  5.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 31st, 2010 @ 6:18pm

    EULAs?

    What if everyone who signed up had to click a button that assured that everything they uploaded was free of copyright BS? Would that please the court?

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 6:25pm

    Re: EULAs?

    sounds like someone is trying to get out of fourth-party liability.

     

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  7.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Mar 31st, 2010 @ 6:32pm

    Re:

    "it's so easy to tell if a work is infringing, "

    To only way to be absolutely sure its infringing is to download it and watch or listen to it ... Big OLE GRIN

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 6:39pm

    The MPAA et al are getting their way, they're starting to destroy anything that could offer people competing CC media. The MPAA is not concerned with copyprivilege infringement, they are concerned with the fact that people can offer free content under a Creative Commons license that competes with their media and so they want to shut down anything and everything that can distribute such content.

    This is sad, how a privilege that is not even owed to some entity that does not even produce or contribute anything meaningful to society forces everyone to destroy, and increase the cost of maintaining, perfectly good technology for no good reason.

    No one owes you a copy privilege and i don't want your stupid privilege to interfere with my right to use or provide others with a service (like bit Torrent) and neither do I want your stupid privilege to make it more expensive to use or provide such services. GET OUT OF OUR LIVES AND DIE ALREADY, I want your broken business model to DIE and I want your business to die. Find another job.

     

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  9.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 31st, 2010 @ 6:46pm

    Re: Re: EULAs?

    "sounds like someone is trying to get out of fourth-party liability."

    1, 2... 4? The frak?

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 6:55pm

    He should just change the site so it uses a custom google search and then blame google.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 6:58pm

    "Some of us deplore the hypocrisy of requiring that letters to the editor have verifiable identities, addresses and phone numbers, while allowing anyone with a keyboard and an e-mail address to post the kind of stuff they'd never say if they had to provide their names. "

    There is nothing hypocritical about this. Perhaps people want to hide their identity to avoid unjustified persecution or punishment (ie: by vandals who might start throwing rocks through your window or by a crazy hit man who might want to hurt someone). In fact, there are some psychos on the Internet, as the news media repeats ad nausea, there are some crazy and dangerous psychos on the Internet. I don't want everyone who reads my comment to know who I am or where I live. Some crazy psycho with nothing better to do might randomly stock people on the Internet. To force people not to be anonymous can be dangerous. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't be allowed to voice my opinion to everyone at large just because I want to avoid the crazy people that might hurt someone.

    In fact, it's hypocritical of the news media to constantly protest how many dangerous people are on the Internet and how these dangerous people could come after your children or your family or you and then for the news media to subsequently demand that no one who comments on the Internet be anonymous.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 7:04pm

    Re:

    Oops, wrong thread, you may delete this.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 7:18pm

    Typical

    This really is not a huge surprise, but in the IsoHunt case the judge has now ordered site operator Gary Fung to magically stop anyone from infringing. It is, as Fung notes, effectively a shut down order.

    This is getting to be a really common tactic amongst Big Media supporter judges: "Either do the impossible or shut down, your choice", and I'm getting really sick of it. When a legal system ceases to be fair, it loses it's moral authority. And without moral authority, obeying or participating in it becomes immoral. I think some people need to be reminded of that.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 7:38pm

    Cable 2.0

    It's pretty obvious that what they're really trying to do is to turn the Internet into a kind of cable TV 2.0 where the only ones allowed to distribute content are Big Media.

     

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  15.  
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    slander (profile), Mar 31st, 2010 @ 8:02pm

    Re: Re:

    To only way to be absolutely sure its infringing is to download it and watch or listen to it ...
    But... what if it's a Uwe Boll film in disguise? Are you willing to take that chance?

     

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

  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 8:24pm

    Re: NewzBin handed a similar fate

    newzbin is very important ruling pretty much death for all those news group aggregation companies.

     

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

  17.  
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    Brian (profile), Mar 31st, 2010 @ 8:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: EULAs?

    Well by commenting on this story you could be held accountable via 5th party liability, discussion about the possibility of others infringing

     

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

  18.  
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    NAMELESS.ONE, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 9:00pm

    IF you live in canada wave your hands up

    OH ISO hunts owner does and also hosts site there
    GEE just ban Americans leave them out of the fun
    HAHA

    at this rate America will have a filter as no websites in foreign lands will be allowed legally to show the Americans anyhting and i'm all for it

    when they had enough and want to join in we will

    TEAR DOWN THE WALL
    TEAR DOWN THE WALL

    cause for now its all just another brick in the wall

     

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  19.  
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    Avatar28 (profile), Mar 31st, 2010 @ 9:34pm

    Re: IF you live in canada wave your hands up

    Actually, I believe the line in the movie/album (which can be found on bit torrent) is "Bring down the wall." I could be wrong, but that's what it sounds like to me.

     

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  20.  
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    Tamara, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 9:55pm

    This isohunt article is False.

    DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS CRAP. I hate it when people wake up and say um i don't have any real news to write about so i will pick on this ******* company. Where's your proof where are the court transcripts. You shouldn't write things that aren't true.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 10:38pm

    Re: This isohunt article is False.

    What exactly is it that you contend to be false? The ruling? No, that's true, it's how it happened. What the judge said? No, the transcripts are on the site even, the judge said it.

    What ISOHunt's operator said? No, they did say that and why would they say it if the court didn't rule against them?

    What you're saying makes no sense even. You're making absurd comments, why, to make your position look worse than it already does? Seriously, do you think that all of these transcripts were fabricated and that all of these blogs made up such an elaborate lie as to claim that IsoHunt lost when in fact they won? What exactly are you contending?

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 10:40pm

    Re: Re: This isohunt article is False.

    (to continue)

    What the judge said is public record, it makes absolutely no sense that these sources would just fabricate something that's public record.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 10:42pm

    Re: This isohunt article is False.

    Oh, I get it. This is an April fools joke. In your time zone it's already April fools.

     

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  24.  
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    Chad, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 10:56pm

    I don't get it...

    What does the MPAA expect to get from this? I can only imagine the amounts of money required to take all of these sites / companies to court, and for what? If IsoHunt goes down, people will move to another site hosting files found on trackers, and people will continue to move until a better medium for searching for files comes along.

    You can't stop it from happening, they're not even making a dent towards slowing it down, so what's the point? They should sit down and think of ways to embrace the technology rather than push people away from it.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 1st, 2010 @ 12:00am

    From Isohunt.com

    "I should clarify with misleading reporting out there that there's no order, only a PROPOSED order. @Mashable sums up the problematic issues we are debating nicely: "It’s understandable that the entertainment industry is going after large torrent sites, as they point to thousands of links to copyright-infringing content.... But so does Google. Is Isohunt’s search box different than Google’s search box? What exactly is Isohunt doing that’s illegal?"

    If there's an actual order, we would have announced it and implemented it by now. We haven't."

     

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

  26.  
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    ferridder (profile), Apr 1st, 2010 @ 12:00am

    Axiomatic

    If something is an axiom, that just means means that it is not derived from existing facts, and that it is assumed to be true in the rest of the argument. So the judge's statement that "it is axiomatic that the availability...undermines...the market..." makes some sense on its own, but it seems crazy to introduce your own axioms about the world in a legal ruling.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 1st, 2010 @ 1:27am

    This is a proposed order, not a order, should get your facts straight before posting bullshit.

     

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  28.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Apr 1st, 2010 @ 1:47am

    Re:

    This is a proposed order, not a order, should get your facts straight before posting bullshit.

    Chill out. We based our report on what Wired was reporting.

    There's a nice way to add information to a discussion and an obnoxious way.

    Which did you choose?

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 1st, 2010 @ 5:44am

    Re: Re:

    he did it the techdirt way.

     

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  30.  
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    btrussell (profile), Apr 1st, 2010 @ 6:16am

    Re: Re:

    You may be trying to be funny, but it is the absolute truth!

    They say P2P spreads viruses/malware. Do people download files called such n such virus?

    You have no way of knowing what you have until you have completed the download.

     

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  31.  
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    *insert rude noise*, Apr 1st, 2010 @ 6:44am

    Alternatives

    Well, we can all go back to using news groups. Of course most of you (I didn't say all) probably never used them before. Or *shudder* bulletin boards (WOW! Take me back about 17 years!). I remember my long distance phone charges back then, yikes! There is also emule and the like. So many ways to skirt the law.

     

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  32.  
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    TDR, Apr 1st, 2010 @ 7:52am

    Perhaps you should testify on ISOHunt's behalf, Mike. Tell the judge what you just said in this article.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 1st, 2010 @ 9:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Beats doing it the pro-IP way. "Just press the magic button! Stop infringing on our copyrights, and just press the magic button! Why won't you press the magic button!"

     

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  34.  
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    apissedpatron, Apr 1st, 2010 @ 9:10am

    THIS BULLSHIT

    Listen people, the plaintiff got pissed because the shit they spent money to produce is now out there for free, whether or not they are still making money from the venture, they don't want it to be free to ANYONE. They don't even want you to allow your friends or family to come over for a listen, let alone actually give them a copy or (GASP) actually have the want and know how to go download it for themselves. The plaintiff also would like to kill C.C. because of the possibility that this ideal can take down their entire industry. And put one in place that could also have the potential to be a big factor in the changing of our economy. which would oust them entirely. They actually think they are loosing money when in fact most of the people who download can't afford what the plaintiff is selling in the first place so they go around the plaintiff to enjoy the same things as those who can and do afford the content. So the plaintiff isn't loosing out on any funds, they just aren't growing like they want them to. and i think their income is big enough. They are "legally" (and i use the term loosely)(and probably buying) tightening their grip and pretty soon we are just not going to buy their crap and just boycott them. all of them. I have already started. I absolutely refuse to buy or download anything from Warner Bros. now because of the petty bullshit they are "legally" shoving down our throats. this effectively cuts off their reasons for sicking our own on us, and funds going in their direction for them to stay in business. Now I know I am just one person, but is there anyone else who wants to join me in my crusade? i love well made movies just as much as the next person, but i don't like the shady shit these companies are doing.

    A sith lord once said, "the only thing those in power fear the most is .........loosing their power." - Chancellor Palpatine
    We are the Jedi and they are the Sith, and the we are loosing.

    This goes out to the M.P.A.A., the R.I.A.A., and the C.R.I.A.A., and any other organization bent on the same goals: you guys are just one hunter who is backing a bear (the world) with the teeth and claws of a lion into a corner. and what happens if you back an animal into a corner? Hhhhhhmmmm? something tells me your not going to like the consequences of your actions. but you don't care, anything to keep your grip on the industry and tighten it. boy are you in for a surprise. people are just going to use the creative commons anyway and totally bypass your money grubbin, dumb asses.

    THIS GOES OUT TO ALL ARTISTS: CREATE YOUR OWN WEBSITE AND CONTENT UNDER CREATIVE COMMONS, AND FINISH OR GET OUT OF YOUR CONTRACTS. I'D BE HAPPY TO PAY FOR YOUR STUFF (EVEN FULL PRICE)AS LONG AS I'M NOT PAYING THE MAJOR COMPANIES. I DO BELIEVE THAT MOST PEOPLE ACROSS THE WORLD FEEL THE SAME.

    THANKS FOR YOUR ATTENTION

     

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  35.  
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    apissedpatron, Apr 1st, 2010 @ 9:28am

    p.s.--DO NOT GO TO THE PIRATE BAY. WARNER BROTHERS BOUGHT THEM AND NOW OWNS IT. IF YOU GO TO THE PIRATE BAY AND GET A TORRENT YOU WILL BE TRACKED. WHEN YOU DOWNLOAD A TORRENT FROM ISOHUNT THAT HAS A PIRATE BAY TRACKER YOU WILL NOTICE IT CAN NOT CONNECT. TPB AS IT IS NOW IS LIKE A CLONE OF SUPERMAN FROM LEX LUTHER. ONLY IN THIS CASE WARNER BROS. IS PULLING THE STRINGS. THEY BE PLAYIN' DIRTY. IT'S TIME TO PLAY DIRTIER.

     

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  36.  
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    joe, Apr 1st, 2010 @ 1:58pm

    Re: IF you live in canada wave your hands up

    this isnt aboot copyright infridgement

    this is aboot freedom of speech

    aboot the whole world wanting to download and we cannot anymore!

    stupid goof

     

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  37.  
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    daemonnice, Apr 1st, 2010 @ 5:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It is the bullyboys working for the MPAA and big media in general who are uploading files with trojans and viruses/malware.
    What spreads these infections isn't the P2P it is people who do not know how to protect their own computers. I have been downloading using P2P for over 6 years and I have not gotten an infection in the last 3-4 years.

    IsoHunt Rules

     

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  38.  
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    Bill Maher, Apr 2nd, 2010 @ 3:21pm

    hm

    I think there's a large portion of the file sharing community that consists of people who can't otherwise afford to buy all this movie/music content. When you make $10/hr at a shit job, have no realistic path to improving socioeconomic status, and your choice becomes between buying food/rent and paying for a movie, then I, as an individual, am certainly not going to condone trying to use the legal system to squeeze money from these people.

    It may sound like a form of welfare. That's okay in my book. I think the system is working for the studios as is. They are still making record profits. Maybe they could squeeze a few more dollars out of people already teetering on the socioeconomic edge? Okay. Maybe it's not perfect, but it's certainly *not* actionable in my opinion.

    I think there are a lot of hard to pin down benefits of their content being freely accessible to certain segments of the population. It generates word of mouth buzz or panning. It may, in effect, increase revenues by merchandising of music/films, and possibly inspiring some people to buy special editions or just regular editions even of the content. People who would not otherwise buy.

    Also I think what's really going on with filesharing is that it's locally correcting in the movie and music markets for global (here I mean the entire market not Earth) socioeconomic injustices.

    Secondarily, if it were more clear who people were compensating when they bought movies/music, I think that would help. Everyone wants to pay creators for their content if they enjoy it. But no one wants to pay essentially "distributors" exorbitant mark ups because they were essentially able to package and ship something to a store because there's no special labor there.

    With such an efficient distribution technology as filesharing, the market can be a lot more efficient by cutting out the middle man. Of course, the middle man then loses his chunk of the pie. To that I say, do something else.

     

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  39.  
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    Jato, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 9:16am

    Alternatives.

    First off, Bill Maher? Awesome.

    Second of all, if they record studios would pull their heads out of their asses long enough to look for a better way to make money off of this than suing kids they'd do a lot better.

    What they should do is be the first ones to upload a good version of the torrent. Dump in some advertisements for which they charge revenue by the leecher count or whatever, and actually make money off of the damn thing. Sure someone will torrent it, rip out the adverts then re-up it but if the studio's material was up first and has the most seeders a lot of us will still download that.

    I like the idea of cutting out the middleman, those blood-sucking cunts are half the reason I torrent in the first place. The other half is I'm a starving college student who eats peanut butter off a spoon for dinner.

     

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  40.  
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    Me, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 3:59pm

    I love this

    What we are witnessing is averaging in evolution. You see, the movie stars and industry itself already makes way too much money. Last time you did a school play, were you paid 13.7 Million dollars. No chances are. the next three branches of your family tree won't see that kinda money as a group. And this is the kinda money they tend to make sometimes yearly. Do you think it's fair that you slave your ass off at work for a measly 40K a year when industries out there for the lucky ones and hand me down riches thrive. We slave for them when we cook, clean, wait on them, drive them. But it's starting to even out. As you can see, they are loosing profits. So they wanna shut stuff down, cause when you made 58 Million last year, 34 Million this year just doesn't cut it. It's called GREED people. Greed always appears very powerful at first, and then they collapse. There's enough money in the world for us ALL to have a million dollars and more. But who will do the dirty work? As soon as the Movie industry figures out they can make more profits on the internet, they'll jump right at it. But for now, they need to control it as much as possible to protect their precious profits. GREED people. I really hope there is a heaven and hell so I don't have to see these people in the next life. Let them love their money now, because they can't take it with them when they die. Meanwhile I'll laugh and keep downloading their movies because I get ripped off at the pop-corn stand at the movies. I'll continue to sneak my food in, I'll continue to keep my dollar instead of giving it to them every chance I get. If they don't wanna share the wealth, we'll just take a helping for ourselves. So.. to the movie industry out there, keep building you castle walls, because lately, it's all crap on the inside anyway. More shit to get us to buy more shit. Hey.. maybe you can get a bailout. LOL

     

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  41.  
    icon
    sandy (profile), Apr 21st, 2010 @ 3:49am

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  42.  
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    bogus, May 10th, 2010 @ 5:16am

    I recently went to isohunt because I have finally got around to converting my CD content to digital via itunes. Well, when I was trying to copy my cd to my computer, it kept failing at a certain point. I tried to repair my cd with one of those repair kits (skipdr), and it still didn't work. I held my cd up to the light and discovered that the reflective foil on the other side had been scraped.

    I went to isohunt, because I wanted to find a copy to download to replace my music, and that is when I found the "lite" version.

    I refuse to pay any company more money to buy another copy of my CD when I already have the rights to listen to that content from my initial purchase.

    I bet I could very easily find thousands (if not more) people who would show up in court to say that they have owned an irreparably damaged CD, due to the quality of the workmanship and materials used to make it.. at the very least, replacement copies, which can be downloaded online, should be available by the vendors.

    CD's are made to be taken out of protective sleeves, put into players, taken out of players etc.. You don't think putting a CD into a player puts a scratch on it.. setting a hard surface against another hard surface? I don't see any rubber stoppers on my cd tray protecting my CDs when I place them in there.

    Do they think we are stupid? Although, some of you reading this may have gone out and purchased a new copy-- did you ever think about that. The MPAA and other big media vendors are white collar criminals, and you support them time and time again with your subsequent purchases of the same thing you already own. It is like Disney.. how many times do they need to re-relase the same ancient movie? "Oh, we've added this first hand commentary, and therefore you are buying the rights to this new content in addition to what you already own." Collector's edition, director's edition, 20th anniversary edition, extorting you out of more money edition!!!! Do their prices take into account whether you already own the right to view the majority of the content you are repurchasing?

    The MPAA and other big media vendors are scam artists, pure and simple... well not really so simple, but I think you get my drift.

    Anyway, I am going to search by any means to replace my purchased content. "Justice" is blind and stupid sometimes.

     

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

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2010 @ 3:08pm

    I do not agree with the current model of copy write. If I buy a movie on DVD and then its released for Blue-Ray DVD I should not have to re-purchase the same god damn movie. This should apply to Music and Video games as well. If I bought BioShock2 for Xbox360, then find out that i cant access the command console on (X360) I already purchased rights to use this software - therefore i have every right to download and play the EXACT SAME SOFTWARE/Game on my pc.

    People just need to understand this, all content is software and all devices are hardware an xbox360, DVD player, PC, and Iphone are all computers running software. That's it.

     

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

  44.  
    identicon
    kaliya, May 6th, 2011 @ 10:43am

    perfomance

    hey dude!
    best performance and great People just need to understand this, all content is software and all devices are hardware an xbox360, DVD player, PC, and Iphone are all computers running software

     

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

  45.  
    identicon
    Justme, Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 9:43am

    You can still use the old version of isohunt. Use http://anonymouse.org/ or Go to www.clearhide.com and type isohunt.com in the visit box and hit enter. It will take you to the old isohunt.
    Good luck

     

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


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