By Vito Pilieci, The Ottawa Citizen
March 17, 2009
OTTAWA A court case in British Columbia has the potential to drastically change the Canadian Internet landscape by making search engines such as Google and Yahoo illegal.
A case brought against the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) by a small search engine for BitTorrent files, called ISOHunt Web Technologies Inc., is raising questions about whether search engines are liable for the sharing of copyright-protected content online.
The question before the British Columbia Supreme Court is, if a site like ISOHunt allows people to find a pirated copy of Watchmen or The Dark Knight, is it breaching Canadian copyright law?
Its a huge can of worms, said David Fewer, acting director of the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic at the University of Ottawa.
I am surprised that this litigation has gone under the radar as much as it has. I do think this is the most important copyright litigation going on right now.
ISOHunt helps people search through more than 44 million BitTorrent files available on the Internet to find the movies, TV shows, software and music they may be looking for. The company does not store the files, nor does it work directly with people offering the files for download.
The search engine boasts more than 20 million regular users.