"I have made the first move. That is all they know."

Today, popular p2p aggregate site isohunt.com launched a lawsuit against the Canadian Recording Industry Association.

As one digg commenter puts it, the CRIA is so quick to sue....lets see how they like it.

Now, before the critics say isoHunt.com is full of links to copyright infringing content and we should just pack up and leave. To which I'll summarize what our petition to the BC court is all about. isoHunt is a search engine of BitTorrent sites, and our sister sites are indices of direct user contributed .torrent links. None of the pieces of files exchanged over BitTorrent pass through our servers, they are exchanged over external P2P networks. We serve cached .torrent links to such files on P2P networks. Some of these files maybe copyright infringing, some aren't. But given the ridiculously long copyright terms in most countries of the world (which does differ) and that all creative media are copyrighted by default (in many countries), large majority of files exchanged on the internet would be copyrighted. That includes Linux ISO images and your videos of friends and family doing whacky things. The real question is are they infringing against the wishes of respective copyright owners. We make and run a great search engine here at isoHunt, but we unfortunately do not have the technology to mind read what are the wishes of all copyright owners, or who they are to begin with in association with the tens of millions of files on BitTorrent, to which we only indexes metadata links and not actual content files. Whatever copyright laws or safe harbor provisions provided in different countries, the only sensible and technically possible thing to do we've found is to take down links to allegedly infringing content upon request and verification. This part of the US's DMCA is one which has much foresight and makes sense. (although not perfect obviously, it should add provisions for monetary punishment on erroneous notices as we receive plenty of ignorant or erroneous takedown requests and there isn't much recourse about them, but that's another topic)

The bottom line is we developed a search engine for BitTorrent protocols when it was still in its infancy, and even now it has not yet gained full mainstream use. We are on the cutting edge of emerging internet technologies, and I ask reasonable people of Canada and whoever else reading this to accept that it is not my wish for my websites and search engines to infringe rights of others. As all emerging technologies go, increasingly beneficial usage of BitTorrent will emerge with more widespread adoption by various parties. I'm referring to the US's Sony Betamax decision here; as the VCRs have been allowed to develop, enabling a new industry of videos playable at home, I plead that emerging technologies like BitTorrent and our web services be allowed that same chance to develop.