Archive for March 4th, 2011

The Canadian isoHunt Litigation: The CRIA Cease and Desist Letter That Started it All

Over the past several weeks, there has been considerable discussion about the lawsuit launched by more than two dozen record labels against Canadian-based isoHunt that relies upon current Canadian law. The lawsuit is noteworthy since contrary to repeated claims that Canadian law is unable to address sites like isoHunt, the recording industry has filed both a statement of defence and a statement of claim in the B.C. courts that cite current law as the basis for a takedown order and millions in liability.

CRIA’s supporters have argued that the discussion has been misleading since isoHunt initiated an action asking a court to declare its activities legal before the record labels responded with their own court filings. For example, Barry Sookman told the Globe my comments were “misleading” and that “isoHunt started this and the recording industry was simply defending [itself].” Liberal MP Dan McTeague rose on a point of order in the Bill C-32 committee to similarly declare my column “misleading and false” and stating that “I just want it clear for the record that isoHunt itself initiated this legal action.”

As I told the Globe, I think the timing issue misses the larger point – the recording industry has argued in multiple court documents that current Canadian copyright law can be used to shut down isoHunt and to force the site to pay millions in damages. While this must still be proven in court, the good faith reliance on current Canadian law certainly undermines claims that the law is ill-equipped to address the site and raises questions about why the industry has persistently painted Canadian law facilitating a piracy haven when its legal actions suggest otherwise.  However, if the timing matters to some people, it is worth noting that the legal chess match began not with the isoHunt lawsuit but rather with a cease and desist letter that Sookman sent in 2008 on behalf of CRIA to isoHunt months before isoHunt filed its suit.  

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March 4, 2011 54 comments News


isoHunt C&D.pdf

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March 4, 2011 Comments are Disabled General