Goodbye, Google?

BC court case could stop Canadians from searching the web


Imagine a world without Google, Yahoo! or any other way to find the phone number for that new pizza place on the corner. Terrified yet? You should be, according to the Ottawa Citizen, which reports that a case currently before the BC Supreme Court involving the Canadian Recording Industry Association’s legal threats against tiny BC-based bit-torrent search engine ISOhunt has the potential to plunge Canadian internet users into an information blackout. If the court accepts CIRA’s argument that the search engine should be held liable for any unauthorized download of pirated material by its users, it could apply the same logic to any other search engine that could be used for the same purpose, according the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, which calls this “the most important copyright litigation” currently underway in this country. If that’s the case, the BC ruling could leave even the most law-abiding web user in the dark. 

Ottawa Citizen

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Goodbye, Google?

  1. The problem, which the industry associations and legislators have failed to figure out, is that you cannot regulate or block any content on the internet. ISPs can block domains and IP addresses, but users will always be able to use proxies to circumvent these types of controls.

    Look at China. China has the most sophisticated and restrictive firewall on the planet, yet users there have little problem getting around government blocks on content and search engines.

  2. This is essentially the Canadian version of the Pirate Bay lawsuit. A lot of good arguments have been made for sites like these. The fact is that they are just search engines and the people who control them have no control over the content that resides on them. Yes there is copyrighted material on them, but there’s a lot of original and non-copyrighted material as well.

    The record companies hated Tape decks too when they first came out, did they stop those? nope. Did they stop CD-R’s? nope.

    As usual the record/movie companies will just have to re-think how they do business. And a lot of them are, offering extra content to those who purchase. Bands are focusing more on shows and merch then they used to.

    This isn’t the end of google, google just lists sites. It can’t be held responsible for each site it lists. If anything google will only become more involved in our day to day lives as time passes.

    • they tax cd-r’s here, because they are used for copyright infringement. Lawsuits like this are ridiculous, because we tax iPods and cd-r’s and the like to support the recording industry.

  3. This reasoning is a bit of a slippery slope. If the ruling passes, it would create some precedent, yes. But it’s probably a safe assumption that if the same kind of case were to come up against Google, any reasonable interpretation of the ruling would prevent a similar blanket ban.

    A site like ISOhunt is, after all, assumed to be a source for pirated materials. That may not be its explicit purpose, but when I’m trying to find the score on the hockey game, I don’t go to ISOhunt. Similar files may be available on Google, but due to its highly sophisticated indexing and filtering systems, it’s much, much harder to come by than doing a direct search for pirated data on ISOhunt.

    Any judge that ruled on a complete and utter blackout of one of the most critical information services in Canada would be driven out of the country – Google is an entirely different beast.

    • Wrong. The difference between torrent sites and google is a matter of degree and subjective difference. There really isn’t an objective difference to divide the two. You can search for torrent files using google, for instance. Ergo, ban google.`

      • You can and you can’t. You can search for sites that have links to said files. But you will never get direct links. Isohunt and PB etc. will give you direct links to the torrent file and other information about that file.j

        • Google also links to all manner of copyright material, including print, images, and through their youtube service, many copyright pieces of music and video. Shut down youtube and google?

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