isoHunt Appeals Process Begins

from the not-so-simple dept

As we're still left scratching our heads over the US government's botched affidavit to seize Torrent-Finder, that includes numerous technical and legal errors -- and most importantly, does not take into account the First Amendment implications of domain name seizures -- it's worth remembering that a site that has a few similarities to Torrent-Finder, IsoHunt, is still involved in a legal fight concerning its operations.

While we keep hearing defenders of the domain name seizures claim that it's somehow "obvious" that Torrent-Finder is guilty of criminal copyright infringement, it pays to remember that IsoHunt, which is being charged with civil copyright infringement (which has a lower bar) has caused something of a stir in legal circles. The original ruling on IsoHunt broke some new ground in actually being one of the first (and perhaps most high profile case) to use the whole "Red Flag" claim to make IsoHunt guilty of contributory infringement. This is why lots of other cases now cite the district court's ruling in the IsoHunt case -- because it's really the only case that recognizes such "general knowledge" as removing DMCA safe harbors.

In other words, it's still a pretty open question how the courts will actually rule on this issue -- and yet Homeland Security and its supporters somehow think it's "obvious" that Torrent-Finder is even more guilty, despite a lack of any actual charges or a full trial? In its appeal, IsoHunt questions whether or not the injunctions placed by the judge in the district court ruling (who, it should be noted, still lets IsoHunt continue to exist, if in a modified form -- unlike the seizures) are violating the First Amendment in forcing search engines to somehow pre-censor their results, based on no factual evidence of infringement.

There certainly may be additional evidence that makes IsoHunt guilty of contributory infringement, but it's certainly not a clear cut question (though I can predict some folks in the comments will claim otherwise). However, considering that this legal battle is still being fought, it seems even more ridiculous for Homeland Security (or its recent college grad ICE agent) to declare that another search engine is somehow obviously guilty of criminal copyright infringement.

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  1. icon
    average_joe (profile), 26 Dec 2010 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You made a clear statement that he had admitted to personally downloading infringing material. Yet you failed to present evidence of that claim.

    And just so you don't go saying I didn't back up my claim... From the order granting summary judgment: "In his deposition, Defendant Fung admitted to using the Isohunt website to download copyrighted broadcast television shows such as The Simpsons and Lost. (SUF, 2, 57, 122.) Similarly, Fung admitted to downloading the copyrighted film The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. (SUF, 58.)"

    Now, just in case you don't know, "SUF" means "Statement of Undisputed Facts." As the name suggests, these are the facts that are in evidence that are not disputed. So not only am I quoting the district court, the district court is quoting the undisputed facts in the case. Add to that the fact that Fung didn't challenged this fact in his opposition brief or on appeal, and I've proved this point more than sufficiently. You simply cannot rebut this fact.

    Now that I have proved that Fung admitted that he downloaded specific infringing works, what is your reply to this proof? I'll be waiting, Mike.

    You always claim that you only believe in evidence and that you abhor faith-based claims. Yet, as far as I can tell, with Fung you are ignoring all of the evidence and you're grasping at straws. Why are you unable to just admit that he's a pirate? It appears to me that you don't know evidence when it's smacking you right in the face. If that's the case, why should we ever believe you when you claim something is backed by evidence? Do you even know what evidence is, Mike? Apparently not.

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