Feeds

TorrentSpy filters pirated videos

Makes a hash of it

Boost IT visibility and business value

As TorrentSpy continues to fight a lawsuit by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), founders of the popular video download site have announced a new filtering system that allows content owners to remove pirated material from the site’s search results.

The new filtering system, known as FileRights, automatically removes offending search links using a database of copyrighted works, CNET reports. Though the database is maintained by FileRights, the onus is on the content owners to keep it updated. Video search engine isoHunt, a TorrentSpy competitor, will also use the system.

”No longer will site by site DMCA affidavits be required for copyright owners to remove links to allegedly infringing files,” reads a statement from Justin Bunnell, a TorrentSpy founder and chief executive officer of FileRights. “ With FileRights, we used the community networking power of the web to automate and aggregate the entire copyright filtration process."

The MPAA filed suit against TorrentSpy in February of 2006, accusing the BitTorrent-based site of facilitating downloads of copyrighted material. The introduction of FileRights comes in the wake of a federal court ruling that ordered TorrentSpy to begin tracking its own users as a way of collecting evidence in the suit.

The court has since issued a stay of the order, and TorrentSpy plans to appeal. Yesterday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy watchdog, filed an amicus brief with the court in support of the company.

According to the FileRights site, the new filtering service gives content owners the ability to upload “hash marks” that identify copyrighted works. The hashes are then used to automatically remove links to pirated material from video sites like TorrentSpy and isoHunt. It should be noted, however, that video files can be altered to avoid identification by hash marks.

The hope is that the filtering service will win TorrentSpy a few points with the court. But, considering that content owners must update the FileRights database and that the hash set-up is less-than-foolproof, it may not have much effect.

"It is difficult to evaluate from press reports if the filter is going to be effective or if it is merely a cosmetic gesture," says Ian Ballon, a California intellectual property lawyer and the author of Ecommerce and Internet Law: Treatise With Forms.

Napster tried a similar trick as it battled a lawsuit from the Recording Industry Association of American (RIAA), but the service was shut down by the courts until it could prove that it had removed all copyrighted material.®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable
Floats exam program to help IT employers lock up talent
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.