Google Urges the Courts to Reconsider the isoHunt Ruling…

Because if the DMCA goes away, Google users go away. Which is why this company will do anything and everything to protect the statute, even if that means allying with a blatant, known infringer.

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You can thank that little BitTorrent tracker up in Canada for potentially ripping the DMCA apart.  Just recently, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found isoHunt to be completely infringing, based on its obvious knowledge and inducement of unauthorized content theft.

And the decision made it extremely clear that one violation introduces massive liability for all cases of content infringement.

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Which is exactly where Google could have a serious problem.  “Google does not believe that this sweeping interpretation of the panel opinion is correct; indeed, such a misreading could lead to absurd results that would pose a significant danger to legitimate service providers and to the integrity of the DMCA,” the Google opinion read.

This isn’t just theoretical word-smithing: at this very moment, Viacom is using the isoHunt opinion against Google, perhaps a glimmer of hope in an otherwise losing fight.  Viacom’s argument is that if Google exerts ‘substantial control’ over one infringing area, it should be liable for all violations.

Google favors a sharply narrowed definition, one that minimizes the penalties for one f*&k-up.  “Imagine, for example, a video-hosting service that was otherwise eligible for the section 512(c) safe harbor, but that on one occasion commissioned a particular user to upload a video that, unbeknownst to the service, turned out to be infringing,” the Google brief argued.  “A court might conclude that the service exerted a ‘substantial influence’ over that instance of infringement and, if the service earned a direct financial benefit from it, there would be grounds for denying the safe harbor for a claim based on that video.”

“It would make no sense to thereby disqualify the service provider from DMCA protection across the board.”

Or, would it make total sense?

10 Responses

  1. Visitor

    We can’t blame Google for being nervous.

    They deliberately abuse the DMCA, and the latest development may not only damage them.

    It may break them:

    * Like Gary Fung, they have direct knowledge about specific pirated works (they consciously upload infringing Pirate Bay links every day, for instance).

    * Like Mr. Fung, they profit directly from providing free access to these pirated works.

    * And like Mr. Fung, they have expressed sympathy for piracy:

    “when you go on a pirate website, you choose what you like; it downloads to the device of your choice and it will just work – and then when you have to jump through all these hoops [to buy legitimate content], the walls created are disincentives for people to buy”

    Sergey Brin, 2012.


    So they no longer just have to fight musicians, authors, artist organizations, directors, producers, inventors, software developers, actors and designers.

    They also have to fight the law and the democratically elected politicians.

    But in order to do so, they have to defend criminal enterprises like isoHunt.

    In public.

    And that hurts.

    • amen brother

      Not only that but:

      a Not-Insignificant amount of their revenues come from ILLEGAL sources (and it’s not a stretch to suspect it is a MAJORITY of their revenue from unscrupulous dealings). this includes, but is not limited to:

      Ads served on known pirate sites
      search ranking favoring these sites that serve their ads (on pirate sites)
      a Shill list as long as Ron Jermey’s ^&&$
      Paying a HALF-BILLION dollars of shareholders’ money to keep the head-honchos of Google out of prison for KNOWINGLY selling illegal narcotics to children and addicts alike, with no perscription.

      and it goes on… and on… and on…

      They would be all be in prison if they didn’t have so many Government contracts and an army of Lobbiests on ‘K-Street’.

      • Visitor

        “narcotics to children and addicts alike, with no perscription.”

        That had absolutely nothing to do with what the problem was. Addicts can already get their drugs via other means. The problem was Google was letting people access drugs easily for considerably less than could be purchased in the US from completely reputable Canadian pharmacies. The drug companies were shitting themselves and demanded the government interviene. The “protect the children” speal was just so they could gain public approval. Just like we have to pass cyber security laws to “protect the children” when the laws have nothing to do with children nor those who are a danger to them.

        • Visitor

          Let’s stick to the facts:

          “Google’s deep piracy liability was laid bare this summer when Google paid a near-record $500m criminal forfeiture penalty to settle criminal charges that Google willfully knowingly and repeatedly violated Federal criminal laws prohibiting the “unsafe and unlawful importation of prescription drugs into the U.S. over a period of several years.”

          Source: Forbes.

    • visitor

      You’re confusing YouTube with Google Search.

      I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it again:

      YouTube is a great tool and almost legitimate. They just need to fix their autocomplete.

      But Google Search — which we’re discussing here today — is the world’s leading piracy search engine.

      New York Times nailed it when they described the two faces of the tech giant:

      “When it comes to the music industry, there are two Googles. And the difference between them leads to a complicated and fraught relationship.

      One Google is represented by its suite of entertainment media services like YouTube and Google Play, which have licensing agreements with the major labels and music publishers, along with movie studios and other media companies. That side is slowly becoming integrated into the fabric of the entertainment industry, through deals like the one announced by Billboard magazine this week that it would start incorporating YouTube play counts into its chart formulas.

      The other side of Google is its mighty search engine, the road map to the Internet, which people use to find content of all kinds — some of it preferred by the entertainment industry, but a great deal of it not. This is the side of Google that has the most frequent and public fights with the entertainment industry”

      • Central Scrutinizer

        Check the viacom lawsuit. It says Viacom v. youtube inc., youtube llc. and GOOGLE Inc.

        It doesn’t matter that their business models or their ethics differ. youtube and google are named in the viacom lawsuit because google owns youtube. continuing to assert that youtube and google are not the same entity is irrelevant at best.

        If you think that the outcome of the lawsuit between columbia pictures and isohunt would have no effect on how google runs youtube then you are a fool.

        • Visitor

          “If you think that the outcome of the lawsuit between columbia pictures and isohunt would have no effect on how google runs youtube then you are a fool.”

          Here’s why you’re wrong:

          YouTube is already the exact opposite of isoHunt:

          It co-operates with right holders, educates users and walks the extra mile, willingly and pro-actively, to avoid infringement.

          Google Search can, on the other hand, easily be compared to isoHunt and is likely to lose its safe harbor for the same reasons.

  2. Adam

    Well what do you know. I highly charged, extremely opinionated “news” story from Paul. This publication is quickly becoming unreadable.

    • Visitor

      The fact that Google joins forces with organized crime is a huge story.

      It will fundamentally change Google’s reputation and have massive influence on a wide range of music related topics.

      You think a music news site should ignore that?