isoHunt, the Canadian-based Torrent search engine, has filed a follow-up statement of claim against the Canadian Recording Industry Association as it seeks a declaration that it is operating legally in Canada. The filing is well worth reading as it explains BitTorrent technology and argues that isoHunt is a P2P search engine that merely indexes torrent files found on other indexing sites (it describes itself as a Super-Indexer). Further, it notes the limits of its involvement in the copying process as well as its compliance with the DMCA notice-and-takedown system. isoHunt clearly tries to position itself as a specialized search engine that does not host infringing content. The filing is the second in the case. CRIA challenged isoHunt's earlier filing, arguing that a full trial was needed. The B.C. courts agreed and this marks the continuation of the case.
The CRIA response will be interesting since it faces a conflict between its rhetoric and its view of Canadian law. On the one hand, it has argued that the isoHunt case is indication that Canadian law is out-of-date, suggesting that it provides a clear sign that reform is needed. On the other, given that it initiated cease and desist letters, it is unlikely to simply say that isoHunt is correct and that it is operating legally. In other words, if it challenges isoHunt's claims, it acknowledges that it believes that Canadian law can be used to stop torrent search sites. If it doesn't make such an argument, it can continue to make the claim for reform, but it loses the case.