from the nice-work-guys dept
The MPAA’s lawsuit against IsoHunt is still going on, and the latest shenanigans from the movie studios (yet again) raise significant questions about the (lack of) care with which they handle these cases. They often seem to act as if it’s so self-evident that any torrent search engine or cyberlocker is evil that they don’t really have to be that careful in actually proving their case. The latest, found via TorrentFreak, is that the evidence the MPAA is using to try to prove direct infringement doesn’t seem to show any infringement, because the evidence isn’t what they claim it is. Beyond failing to provide the necessary documents in a timely manner for discovery, now that the MPAA has finally produced the evidence, it appears completely screwed up. IsoHunt wanted to look through the details of the claims of direct infringement to see whether or not the movie studios had uploaded the works themselves, or if any of the downloads were also from the studios. The MPAA delayed handing over such information and when it finally sent a hard drive along with a corresponding explanation, the details didn’t match up.
Plaintiffs’ BT_ID List identifies dot-torrent file 2224 as corresponding to Plaintiffs’ work “Legends of the Fall.”
Plaintiffs produced a copy of a dot-torrent file named “2224.torrent” on September 19, 2013. But opening the dot-torrent file “2224.torrent” in a BitTorrent client causes it to begin attempting to download a copy of a work entitled “Buddha Bar – Vol 4.”
The target file of the 2224.torrent file could not be downloaded.
Plaintiffs’ BT_ID List identifies dot-torrent file 3630 as corresponding to Plaintiffs’ work “Seven Years in Tibet.”
Plaintiffs produced a copy of a dot-torrent file named “3630.torrent” on September 19, 2013. But opening that dot-torrent file in a BitTorrent client causes it to begin attempting to download a copy of a work entitled “Transformers.”
The target file of the 3630.torrent file could not be downloaded.
Plaintiffs’ BT_ID List identifies dot-torrent file 16170 as corresponding to Plaintiffs’ work “Lords of Dogtown.”
On September 28, 2013, I launched the dot-torrent file “16170.torrent” using the BitTorrent client uTorrent, which downloaded eighteen files from the Internet. I reviewed each of the files and determined that none of them is the movie “Lords of Dogtown.” Indeed, none of the files is a video file. Rather, the downloaded files comprise sixteen mp3 audio files, an m3u file (which when opened plays each of the sixteen audio files in sequence), a .sfv file (which I understand contains information to verify that files are uncorrupted), and a .nfo file that contains textual information about the audio files. Launching the 16170.torrent file using a BitTorrent client results in a download of audio files identical to the content files Plaintiffs actually produced on their hard drive on September 19, 2013.
There’s more like that. IsoHunt’s legal team points out that the MPAA has yet to actually produce any documents that are “sufficient to accurately identify their works,” and that it will take a fair bit of time to actually look through all 2,000 torrent files and check whether the they actually lead to the works claimed — an impossible task in the amount of time IsoHunt has to respond to all of this.
I know that the MPAA likes to assume these sites are clearly guilty with no chance of being proven innocent, but you’d think the least they could do is not muck up the actual evidence.