Last month search giant Google got involved in a BitTorrent case for the first time in its history. The company took interest in the ongoing court case between isoHunt and the MPAA, fearing that the standing injunction has the potential to damage Google and other web-services.
Although Google did not dispute isoHunt’s liability, it is clearly concerned that some of the reasoning in the District Court verdict went too far, and wants to see it scrapped in the appeal.
As the case moves along Google continues to play a central role. In the reply brief filed by isoHunt, a study brought to the table shows that the majority of the files that can be found through its search engine are also available via Google.
“Neither Google nor Plaintiffs mention the 95% overlap between torrents available through Defendants’ systems and torrents available through Google and/or Yahoo!,” isoHunt’s legal team writes (pdf) to the Court of Appeals.
With this data isoHunt claims that what they do, Google does too, and perhaps even better. To a certain degree this is a valid point. Aside from indexing and caching hundreds of millions of pages with directs links to torrent files, Google also has a filetype command which allows users to search only for .torrent files.
In its quest for a jury trial, isoHunt suggests that they, but not Google, are hunted down and scapegoated by the movie studios. To put it in even stronger terms, isoHunt is indirectly telling the court that Google may be the largest torrent search engine on the Internet.
“Defendants might argue to the jury that it is unfair to hold Defendants liable if Google, unbothered by Plaintiffs, provides torrents to ten or twenty times the number of users that visit Defendants,” the reply brief reads.
It adds, “Defendants might argue that Defendants are being scapegoated. Defendants might argue that holding Defendants liable while ignoring Google would not curtail infringement.”
The reply further responds to several of the arguments made by the movie studios and eventually asks the Court of Appeals to reverse the permanent injunction and summary judgment. Instead, isoHunt favors a jury trial which it deems to be more appropriate considering the nature of the case.
“Defendants submit that upholding the right to jury trial is the best way to deal with rapidly-changing technology. Judicial rulings influence practical decisions for many years but cannot track changes in Internet technology.”
Commenting to TorrentFreak, isoHunt founder Gary Fung said that a trial by “jury of one’s peers” would be be fitting in more way than one.