2010 Starts With a Bang for File Sharing

Not even two weeks into the new year, the war on file sharing is already heating up.  Over the holidays, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California held that the site admin of popular torrent tracker isoHunt was guilty of copyright infringement and not entitled to DMCA safe harbor protection. (PDF link to decision here).  This case is one of the first to apply the precedent established in MGM v. Grokster to BitTorrent trackers.  Unsurprisingly, the court held that the technology is irrelevant, and like Napster and Grokster and a slew of others before it, isoHunt’s taxonomical data induced and aided its users in committing copyright infringement.  Eric Goldman nails the analysis over on his blog.

Over on the other side of the pond, the trial against Alan Ellis, the owner of music torrent tracker Oink, began on friday.  Ellis is on trial for the somewhat bizarre charge of “conspiracy to defraud the music industry.”

Last week, Joel Tenebaum, who lost his copyright infringement case in July of 2009, filed a motion for a new trial, stating that the damage award of $22,500 per song was constitutionally excessive.  The motion also argues that the recording industry’s use of DRM encouraged the illegal downloading of files, and that the egregiousness of the offense does not fit the penalty.  It’s a valiant effort, but something tells me we know where this one’s going.

Finally, Bono took to the op-ed page of the New York Times to fire a shot across the bow of ISPs, pushing them to do a better job of policing users for infringement.  ISPs, of course, were quick to disagree.  France has attempted to take a regulatory approach, but its three strikes law has now been delayed to April.

This entry was posted by Joe on Monday, January 11th, 2010 at 11:06 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response below, or trackback from your own site.

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