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BitTorrent's Search Filter MIA?

Postby SlyckTom » Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:05 pm

The big news back in November of 2005 was an accord of understanding between BitTorrent, Inc. and the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America). Bram Cohen, owner of BitTorrent, Inc. and Dan Glickman, CEO and Chairman of the MPAA, reached an agreement where the ground breaking file-sharing firm would filter copyrighted works from its search engine.

Although a minor engine compared to isoHunt, ThePirateBay, MiniNova or TorrentSpy, BitTorrent's agreement with the MPAA was generally perceived as an enormous step forward in bridging the divide between P2P and the entertainment industry. It assured the continued and unabated development of a wildly popular protocol - satisfying the file-sharing populace - while leaving the potential open for possible authorized movie distribution - satisfying the entertainment industry.

As time progressed the supposed filter never came to fruition, at least visually. A search for various forms of entertainment continued to yield torrent results obviously covered by applicable copyright laws. To this day, a search for "Star Wars" or "Sith" reveals an abundant resource of torrents hosted by pro-piracy sites such as "ThePirateBay.org."

This perception is not unique, and was recently discussed on <a href=http://torrentfreak.com/is-bittorrent-inc-messing-with-the-mpaa/ target=_blank>TorrentFreak.com</a>. The apparent lack of any kind of filter earned an indictment from the author, questioning whether any attempt to filter copyrighted works is even being attempted. Considering the manifestation of several legal pursuits against various search engines, such as isoHunt and TorrentSpy, logic would suggest filtering copyrighted material would be top priority for a BitTorrent administrator.

So is BitTorrent, Inc. asleep at the wheel when it comes to filtering copyrighted works? Not quite, said BitTorrent spokeswoman Lily Lin. According to BitTorrent, Inc., the company is respectful of copyrighted material and works diligently to remove such protected titles.

"Any copyright holder that believes our search engine links to an unlicensed version of their work can notify us," BitTorrent spokeswoman Lily Lin told Slyck.com. "We have a procedure in place which complies with the DMCA, and we follow that to the letter. Since the launch of our search engine, we have responded to every single take-down request sent to us."

This policy appears sound enough for the MPAA, which has not pursued any legal recourse against BitTorrent.com. Interestingly enough, BitTorrent's policy is strikingly similar to isoHunt's copyright policy. From <a href=http://isohunt.com/dmca-copyright.php target=_blank>isoHunt.com</a>:

"We respect copyright, and will filter such P2P links at your request, provided you show proof that you directly represent the owner of copyright for the content in question. P2P links pointing to your identified copyrighted works will be disabled. If you see P2P links to material under your copyright, send us an email with a list of the P2P links in question. For our processing, list the links on separate lines and in plaintext format."

isoHunt's Gary Fung was the recipient of an MPAA lawsuit on February 23, 2006. The MPAA alleges the “Defendants operate websites and computer servers as part of an online computer network known as “BitTorrent.” Defendants do so to enable their users to locate and download infringing copies of Plaintiffs’ valuable copyrighted motion pictures and television shows for free and without authorization.”

The degree of difference between isoHunt.com and BitTorrent.com is astronomical; however their similarities perhaps have been overlooked.
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Postby SlyckScratch » Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:26 pm

Its all going to be played out on intent. Should be interesting.
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interesting

Postby CopyCounslr » Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:36 pm

What will be interesting about this? ISOHUNT will go down. Bram's search engine will stay alive. Bittorrent's signed up with the devil. ISOHUNT has not so invariably is being persecuted by the force that has already taken many sites down. It's either shake hands with the enemy, or you will go down. It doesn't get much easier than this folks.

And it's a shame. Because now the webservers must go underground once again. Anyone up for Telenet tag like the ol' BBS days?

-Copy

PS.. The next protocol to utilize the bittorrent without the need for torrent file servers is right around the corner anyway...
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Postby Torrentfreak » Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:36 pm

It's really a double standard.

Bittorrent.com is the first site most "newbies" go to, so they could make a statement if they really wanted to.

And about the DMCA stuff. It's alot easier to file a complaint with mininova or torrentspy that with bittorrent.com

I'm curious how this turns out. I'm glad you got a reply from Lily Lin, I'm still waiting on a reply on the email I wrote a week ago :(
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Re: BitTorrent's Search Filter MIA?

Postby Drake » Tue Apr 04, 2006 6:33 pm

SlyckTom wrote:"Any copyright holder that believes our search engine links to an unlicensed version of their work can notify us," BitTorrent spokeswoman Lily Lin told Slyck.com. "We have a procedure in place which complies with the DMCA, and we follow that to the letter. Since the launch of our search engine, we have responded to every single take-down request sent to us."


This is exactly the same policy utilized by Isohunt and Mininova, yet according to the MPAA attorneys who contacted them, this is not good enough.

This information should assist Isohunt and Torrentspy if they ever make it to court.
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Postby Allied » Tue Apr 04, 2006 7:37 pm

hmmmm, maybe we could force the MPAA to turn on Cohen by using the BitTorrent search engine for piracy. Bram must have stats, if something like "Ice Age 2" was searched for a hundred times it may just break this unholy alliance.
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Re: BitTorrent's Search Filter MIA?

Postby Alex H » Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:28 pm

Drake wrote:This is exactly the same policy utilized by Isohunt and Mininova, yet according to the MPAA attorneys who contacted them, this is not good enough.


It all depends on who you're in collusion with to stop out competition.

Anyone else remember when you got marketshare by providing a good product instead of by litigating the competition?

I'd be very interested to know why the deal between the MPAA and BitTorrent hasn't been offered to isoHunt and TorrentSpy. If nobody from the MPAA is prepared to answer that question, I'm going to just assume they are trying to create an illegal monopoly by backing BitTorrent as their sole "approved" supplier of digital content.
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Re: BitTorrent's Search Filter MIA?

Postby Drake » Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:50 pm

Alex H wrote:I'd be very interested to know why the deal between the MPAA and BitTorrent hasn't been offered to isoHunt and TorrentSpy. If nobody from the MPAA is prepared to answer that question, I'm going to just assume they are trying to create an illegal monopoly by backing BitTorrent as their sole "approved" supplier of digital content.


I think their long-term plan is to replace dump sites such as Isohunt with industry approved sites/trackers such as the one Bram runs. If they are able to do this then it won't be long until the only files available on dump sites are DRM'd and set to self destruct after a certain amount of time.
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Re: BitTorrent's Search Filter MIA?

Postby Alex H » Tue Apr 04, 2006 11:53 pm

Drake wrote:I think their long-term plan is to replace dump sites such as Isohunt with industry approved sites/trackers such as the one Bram runs.


But before the BT/MPAA deal, what was the difference between Bittorrent.com and TorrentSpy.com? Nothing. They indexed the same content. They still index the same content.

There is no difference between those sites except that the MPAA is only in collusion with one of them. I reackon a good lawyer would have an opinion on that. Maye we should ask Mr Eliot Spitzer?

(Pssst. Hey Bram. We'll kill your competition for you if you read this press release for us!)
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Postby timmyfl » Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:33 am

What a double standard makes me sick
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Postby spacedone » Wed Apr 05, 2006 8:31 am

Wonder who'll give up info easier? Hmmmm :roll:
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Re: interesting

Postby Andu » Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:42 pm

CopyCounslr wrote:What will be interesting about this? ISOHUNT will go down. Bram's search engine will stay alive. Bittorrent's signed up with the devil. ISOHUNT has not so invariably is being persecuted by the force that has already taken many sites down. It's either shake hands with the enemy, or you will go down. It doesn't get much easier than this folks.


If they have to funds to fight it out in court this might not have to happen. Especially if the sites are DMCA compliant it will be an interesting case. And if they do win such a case this will be precedent which goes beyond BT. It would make every ed2k link site that complies with the DMCA legit as well.
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Postby lacadaemon » Wed Apr 05, 2006 1:41 pm

the **AA are necessarily a schizoid organisation because on one side they have shareholders and on the other they are looking at the future. but the strategy is clearly to capture the online filesharing market

they cannot reach the filesharing markets whilst there is competition. once the competition is eliminated then the natural choice is Bram to run the **AA's filesharing communities, he was the author of the protocol and they cannot use his protocol without his express permission

it is not even necessary the **AA eliminate all off-shore (non-US) trackers to capture their domestic filesharing markets. their pronged attack on domestic trackers and filesharers is educating the US public that 'illegal filesharing' is a high risk activity. there emerges a niche market of filesharers who will pay a small monthly subscription to access low quality mp3 and avi approved by the **AA

keep in mind p2p filesharing is a global boom market growing exponentially, this market pressure exists in the US as it does everywhere. the mechanism is in place and it is fascinating to watch it's implementation. the **AA is embracing the technology
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Postby videocheez » Wed Apr 05, 2006 3:49 pm

Bram invented Bittorent so he deserves to make a ton of cash out of this whole thing. It's a geek programmer's dream come true.
This is so much fun! :-)
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Postby curzlgt » Wed Apr 05, 2006 6:25 pm

Bram is a genious coder, he's turing out to be a very shrude business man as well.....

While I don't condon or condem, the Bittorrent/MPAA deal, I still see no harm comming to filesharers comming from Bram's actions. How easy would it be for them to give over ip addresses to pass along to the sue em all factories? As I fear the Article pic is suggesting. Bittorrent = Honeypot? Still for me, till then, I'll support his efforts.
The benifit to the masses if Bram's vision comes true will wash away any preceived sins.

I hope Ashwin stops by to add his thoughts......
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Postby ShawnSpree » Thu Apr 06, 2006 8:13 am

Torrentfreak wrote:It's really a double standard.

Bittorrent.com is the first site most "newbies" go to, so they could make a statement if they really wanted to.

And about the DMCA stuff. It's alot easier to file a complaint with mininova or torrentspy that with bittorrent.com

I'm curious how this turns out. I'm glad you got a reply from Lily Lin, I'm still waiting on a reply on the email I wrote a week ago :(


All the newbies go to these stupid open BT search engines. They cant control or filter any private sites, they abviously dont know the first thing when it comes to downloading films.

Should i watch hostel today, or basic instinct 2.. at home of course.
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bittorrent.com is not a honey pot.

Postby ashwinnavin » Thu Apr 06, 2006 1:33 pm

[quote="curzlgt"]Bittorrent = Honeypot?[/quote]

this is absurd. the folks on the p2p forums making these comments are being way too paranoid. it really feels like mccarthy-era witch hunt on these message boards, but this time its you pointing fingers instead of the politicians.

we are not a law enforcement agency and will not violate our privacy policy under any circumstances. here's the big picture... there are two things we care about as a company:

1. our publishers (ie, anyone who puts a torrent on a website)
2. our users (ie, anyone who downloads a torrent from a website)

if we serve both those groups well and continue to grow their numbers, the bittorrent protocol increases in its significance and impact on the world. we want everyone to publish and download with bittorrent.. small or large, rich or poor, from anywhere in the world.

we always welcome a constructive debate about the direction of the protocol and extensions to it, but this bickering and divisiveness within our community only makes the traffic-shaping ISPs happier and its gotta stop.
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Re: bittorrent.com is not a honey pot.

Postby Dormant707 » Thu Apr 06, 2006 1:42 pm

ashwinnavin wrote:
curzlgt wrote:Bittorrent = Honeypot?


this is absurd. the folks on the p2p forums making these comments are being way too paranoid. it really feels like mccarthy-era witch hunt on these message boards, but this time its you pointing fingers instead of the politicians.

we are not a law enforcement agency and will not violate our privacy policy under any circumstances. here's the big picture... there are two things we care about as a company:

1. our publishers (ie, anyone who puts a torrent on a website)
2. our users (ie, anyone who downloads a torrent from a website)

if we serve both those groups well and continue to grow their numbers, the bittorrent protocol increases in its significance and impact on the world. we want everyone to publish and download with bittorrent.. small or large, rich or poor, from anywhere in the world.

we always welcome a constructive debate about the direction of the protocol and extensions to it, but this bickering and divisiveness within our community only makes the traffic-shaping ISPs happier and its gotta stop.


Welcome to the harsh reality that is p2p Ashwin... :lol:

If there is no need for paranoia, members of this forum and the many other p2p'ers will find a reason to be paranoid. P2P is driven by paranoia and FUD - Slyck needs the bad news to keep the readers coming back - otherwise there is no real need for reading Slyck forums as frequently as people do.

I think that BitTorrent Inc. is going to do very well - simply because BT is a great delivery system.

Good luck to Bram and to you.
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Postby lacadaemon » Thu Apr 06, 2006 1:45 pm

just because i am paranoid does not mean they are not out to get me :lol:
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Postby zinclyr » Fri Apr 07, 2006 1:18 pm

What's the matter...

There's a lot of torrent search engines. I'm starting to use http://www.peerbone.org
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