Court Forbids IsoHunt From Indexing Dead Torrent Sites

A California District Court has updated and clarified the permanent injunction the MPAA won against the BitTorrent search engine isoHunt. The torrent site has to keep filtering movie and TV show-related titles and terms on its site. The new order further prohibits isoHunt from indexing or linking to The Pirate Bay and the late BTJunkie and TorrentSpy. This is the first time that a U.S. court has forbidden a site from linking to other sites that have been dead for years.

isohuntIn 2010, a California District Court ordered isoHunt to implement a filter to exclude movie and TV show-related terms from its search engine.

Despite running the filter for some time the Canada-based torrent search engine hoped to have the decision overruled on appeal, but in March this year that aim suffered a setback.

The Ninth Circuit upheld the decision of the lower court. In addition, the court requested that the permanent injunction should be updated to clarify some parts that could be interpreted in multiple ways.

Last month the MPAA and isoHunt legal teams got together to propose a modified injunction, which the court has signed off on last week.

Overall the changes are fairly minimal, and isoHunt is still required to filter its site based on a list of infringing keywords provided by the MPAA. In addition, the BitTorrent site is prohibited from indexing torrents or linking to various other file-sharing sites.

Initially, the injunction held that isoHunt could not index or provide access to “Dot-torrent or similar files harvested or collected from well-known infringing source sites, such as The Pirate Bay.”

Since the term “well-known infringing source sites” is open to interpretation, this part was updated by naming specific sites.

Under the new injunction isoHunt is prohibited from “indexing or providing access to Dot-torrent or similar files harvested or collected from the following sites or services: The Pirate Bay, Torrentspy, BT Junkie, Torrentreactor.net, kat.ph or torrents.net”

No index

mpaa-noindex

While it’s understandable that this language is updated, the inclusion of “TorrentSpy and BTJunkie” is peculiar since these sites closed down a long time ago.

TorrentSpy closed down half a decade ago when the MPAA won a $110 million judgment against the site. BTJunkie has been around for longer, but threw in the towel early last year after the Megaupload raid.

Needless to say, there’s not much that can be harvested from these sites so isoHunt should have no issues complying with this part of the injunction.

The injunction does, however, allow the MPAA to request that new sites are added to this list when they have sufficient proof that they’re infringing. This effectively means that it can severely limit isoHunt’s sources.

Another update to the injunction is that isoHunt is prohibited from advertising its services by referring to the following sites: The Pirate Bay, TorrentSpy, Aimster, Kazaa, Grokster, Morpheus, Newzbin, BT Junkie, Torrentreactor.net, kat.ph, torrents.net, SurftheChannel.com, Kino.to, Movie2k.to, and/or Dl4all.com.

Again we see TorrentSpy and BTJunkie listed, as well as many other defunct services including Kazaa, Grokster and SurftheChannel.com.

Overall the modified injunction doesn’t change much for isoHunt. However, the MPAA is still pursuing hundreds of millions of dollars in damages as well as a motion for contempt, as the movie studios claim that isoHunt’s filtering software is not working.

And so the case continues.

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