isoHunt Loses Appeal in Preemptive Strike Against CRIA

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Last year the isoHunt BitTorrent search engine launched preemptive legal action in an attempt to have their operations declared legal in Canada. The court decided that the case should go to a full trial instead, a decision which isoHunt appealed but has now been denied.

isohuntDuring September 2008, Gary Fung of BitTorrent site isoHunt took the unusual step of suing the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA), seeking confirmation that the site’s operations (along with sister sites Torrentbox and Podtropolis) are legal.

“This is our preemptive strike with a narrowly defined petition for Declaratory Relief that we do not infringe, in anticipation they are going to file their own lawsuit that we do infringe (their copyright),” Fung told TorrentFreak at the time.

In March 2009, isoHunt and the CRIA appeared in court. IsoHunt asked the court to decide whether BitTorrent search engines could be held liable for .torrent files that might point to copyrighted data, but the CRIA demanded a full trial against the BitTorrent site.

In the end the judge felt that the issues were too complex and consequences too far reaching not to move to a full trial.

IsoHunt appealed that decision but yesterday were turned down by the appeal court.

“The issues involved in this case are fundamental to the rights of creators to earn a living from their work,” said CRIA president Graham Henderson. “A matter of this importance should be considered by a court with access to all the facts and not, as isoHunt had argued, to only one party’s version of the facts. A lower court agreed with us and now so has the court of appeal,” he added.

Speaking with TorrentFreak, isoHunt’s Gary Fung said that the decision was not that sad and was expected.

“We didn’t lose (the case),” he told us, “only a motion on a form of litigation and we’ll have news soon enough on how we are to proceed suing CRIA in self defense”

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