Post Tagged with: "isohunt"

IsoHunt Responds to CRIA’s Copyright Infringement Claims

IsoHunt has submitted its response to CRIA’s copyright infringement claims, arguing that it operates lawfully under Canadian law. The filing helps advance the long-delayed case and confirms yet again that the Canadian music industry legal position in court is that isoHunt is liable for millions in statutory damages under current […]

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March 1, 2012 1 comment News

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

The Legal Case Against isoHunt

The Globe and Mail covers the legal case against isoHunt, with discussion of the Canadian recording industry’s lawsuit against the site using existing law. The article suggests that CRIA has filed cease and desist letters against the site (using existing law) in addition to the statement of claim and statement […]

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March 2, 2011 11 comments News

Liberal MP Dan McTeague Emerges As Unofficial CRIA Spokesperson

Last week, I reported on a major Canadian lawsuit filed by 26 record labels against isoHunt.  The legal action, filed in May 2010 without any press releases or public disclosure by CRIA, seeks millions in damages and an order shutting down the controversial website. At the same time as the labels filed the statement of claim, the four major labels responded to isoHunt’s effort to obtain a declaration that it operating lawfully in Canada. Their Statement of Defence (posted here – excuse the poor scan) also makes the case that isoHunt currently violates Canadian copyright law.

Notwithstanding a clear-cut case of how Canadian law can be used today to target infringing activity (supported by some of the strongest statutory damages found anywhere in the world), Liberal MP Dan McTeague rose on a point of order during last Thursday’s Bill C-32 hearing to make the following statement:

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February 24, 2011 50 comments News

Weak Copyright Laws? Recording Industry Files Massive Lawsuit Against isoHunt

As the debate over Canada’s copyright reform legislation, Bill C-32,continues to rage before a legislative committee, one of the most frequently heard claims is that tough reforms are needed to counter Canada’s reputation as a “piracy haven”. The presence of several well-known BitTorrent sites, most notably B.C.-based isoHunt, is cited as evidence for Canada’s supposedly lax laws that the industry says leaves it powerless.

When the bill was first introduced last June, the Canadian Recording Industry Association stated that “stronger rules are also needed to rein in Canadian-based peer-to-peer websites, which, according to IFPI,have become ‘a major source of the world’s piracy problem’.”

Politicians have taken note of the concerns. Industry Minister Tony Clement said the new bill will target “wealth destroyers” and Liberal MP Dan McTeague has lamented that “the very existence of an isoHunt in Canada is problematic and is very much the result of what appears to be a legislative holiday for companies and other BitTorrent sites.”

While the notion of a “legislative holiday” appears to be the impetus for some of the provisions on Bill C-32, my weekly technology law column (homepage version, Toronto Star version) notes that what is left unsaid – and thus far unreported – is that 26 of the world’s largest recording companies launched a multi-million dollar lawsuit against isoHunt using existing Canadian copyright law just three weeks before the introduction of the bill [PDF of May 2010 claim, PDF of August 2010 amended claim].


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February 14, 2011 29 comments Columns