Forced MPAA Filter On IsoHunt Means Legitimate Content Is Being Censored

from the not-cool dept

One of the more bizarre rulings in copyright/file sharing cases was the district court ruling in the IsoHunt search engine case a couple years ago. It's still involved in the appeals process, but the district court is one of the only courts so far to broadly interpret the DMCA's "red flags" rule to mean that general knowledge means you have to block access. The ruling ended up being that IsoHunt basically had to accept a keyword filter from the MPAA and block all access to anything that matched the keywords. As you can imagine, that's leading to significant overblocking of legitimate content.

TorrentFreak has the unfortunate story of filmmaker Brian Taylor, who released a short horror film called "the Bite" via his En Queue Film production studio, and decided to distribute it via isoHunt. However, that's when things went bad:

"I got it going, had downloads start from the US and Europe almost immediately, which made me a very happy guy," Taylor told TorrentFreak.

However, this enthusiasm faded quickly when he tried to access the torrent from a US connection a day later. Instead of a link to the torrent file the filmmaker was welcomed with the following message. “Torrent has been censored, as required by US court.”


They also note that a torrent of public domain music has been blocked by the MPAA (even though the MPAA's filter is about movies, not music). Of course, this is what happens when you force overblocking and the use of technologically stupid filtering methods like keywords. What's amazing is that a court made this same mistake a decade ago with Napster (forcing keyword blocking) and it didn't work then, and doesn't work now. It's amazing that judges who clearly are technologically illiterate find it reasonable to make rules up out of thin air like this one, that not only does little to block any actual infringement, but does plenty to block legitimate uses of tools.

Filed Under: brian taylor, censorship, dmca, filtering, mpaa
Companies: isohunt


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  1. icon
    AzureSky (profile), 9 Apr 2012 @ 9:39am

    sorry but

    sorry but those sites do not allow unlimited bandwidth, they also limit concurrent connections and download speeds(as to be fair to other users)

    Vimeo isnt ideal, most people I talk to have no clue what Vimeo is or cant watch videos there due to buffering issues.

    DailyMotion isnt ideal for similar reasons, Also your forced to use formats approved by said services, much like youtube where the quality tends to be questionable after encoding to youtube formats...

    really these days, torrent based hosting makes alot more sense if you want to share quality content, streaming sites force you to compromise on quality, also streaming content dosnt work to well if somebody wants to watch it offline like many people I know do when travling.

    also note that I am quite sure that the MPAA and RIAA view these sites as just a shade less rogue then megaupload.

    just like mediafire is now a target of the MPAA these sites that could be used for infringement are all evil according to the mpaa/riaa, because they dont give the riaa/mpaa the majority of their income.

    I have seen every major video hosting service/site listed at one time or another as "rogue", no reasonable service is free from these accusations, and if one shows up, it will be accused...its a given....

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