File-sharing sites haven t had a great year, especially in court, but on Wednesday they received a smidgen of good news.
The Motion Picture Association of America asked a federal court to rule that Isohunt was liable for copyright violations committed by its users, but the judge in the case was unconvinced. In his order, U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Wilson said the studios had yet to prove that the Isohunt s users had broken U.S. law.
Lawyers for the MPAA, the trade group representing the six major Hollywood film studios, are trying to convince the judge that Isohunt encouraged and contributed to the infringing activity of users. Wilson gave the MPAA until Sept. 15 to file a brief that convinces him direct infringement at the site was committed by those in the U.S. Apparently, Wilson has questions about whether U.S. residents have pirated content using Isohunt.
United States copyright laws do not reach acts of infringement that take place entirely abroad, Wilson, wrote in his order.
A spokeswoman for the MPAA did not immediately have a response.
The significance of the judge s order, at least from the point of view of Ira Rothken, Isohunt s attorney, is that MPAA s investigators have struggled to draw specific examples of infringement occurring in the U.S.