MPAA Lawsuit Against Torrentspy Impacts Web Search
“A prediction: the world of copyright law is about to collide with the world of digital indexing and search, and the collision will be among the most important digital copyright issues of the next several years.
“A few weeks ago, the major movie studios filed a lawsuit against the operators of TorrentSpy. Although the TorrentSpy suit has been characterized as just the latest chapter in the MPAA’s attack on BitTorrent file sharing, on closer examination it looks more like a wholesale attack against Internet indexing generally.
“In the complaint (.pdf), the studios level claims of contributory infringement, inducement, and vicarious liability against TorrentSpy for maintaining an index of “dot torrents.” These files are functionally similar to links, pointing to files hosted by others. Unlike some other sites, TorrentSpy neither maintains a “tracker” nor hosts any infringing files.
EFF Deep Links. Copyright v. Indexing, Part 1: TorrentSpy. March 31, 2006.
John Borland. MPAA Sues Newsgroup, P2P Search Sites. News.com. Feb. 23, 2006.
U.S. District Court, Central District of California. Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. et al. v. Justin Bunnell, et al. (Complaint for Copyright Infringement). (.pdf) Feb. 23, 2006.
CopyCense™: K. Matthew Dames on the law, business, and technology of digital content. A business venture of Seso Digital LLC.