Today torrent search site Isohunt lost an appeal against the MPAA which would have seen it able to halt the filtering of its search results. However, backing up the initial 2006 ruling that forced the filtering into place, the court did not rule in the site’s favour.
Isohunt has been battling the court for over half a decade, with the initial ruling in 2006 seeing Isohunt begin its search engine filtering based on a list of keywords provided by the MPAA. In 2010, Isohunt owner Gary Fung, attempted to have the site protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, but that failed and today’s appeal verdict upholds that ruling.
“As noted, the record is replete with instances of Fung actively encouraging infringement, by urging his users to both upload and download particular copyrighted works, providing assistance to those seeking to watch copyrighted films, and helping his users burn copyrighted material onto DVDs,” Judge Berzon writes (via TorrentFreak).
Users or the site need not fret however, as Fung has insisted little will change with the site’s operation: “As a search engine of links, we are not like Youtube or filelockers. We do not have the “right and ability to control”, short of censorship on search keywords, nor the ability to filter as the MPAA or the court suggests, as we don’t touch or host the actual content,” Fung said.
This isn’t quite the end of the saga however, as Isohunt will apparently be looking for a re-hearing en banc – which should mean the case is heard by all court judges, as opposed to a panel selected from them.
Isohunt is represented in the US by Ira Rothken’s law firm. The same one that is currently working on behalf of Kim Dotcom for his extradition trial.
KitGuru Says: Shame to see any sort of censorship online, but I’m also impressed by Isohunt’s resilience. It’s been around for a long time and despite continued legal action has kept itself operational – while many others have fallen at the wayside.