MPAA targets P2P search sites

— 2:51 AM on February 24, 2006

It looks like the MPAA's next move in its war against peer-to-peer piracy is the targeting of search engines that index illegitimate P2P content. The motion picture industry group has filed lawsuits against several web sites that direct users to copyrighted material, but those sites don't actually host or offer that material directly for download. Interestingly, the DMCA has something to say about the matter:

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act protects search engines from liability for linking to pirated works, but only if the site operators don't know that the specific content is infringing, are not deriving financial gain from the links, and act quickly to remove the links when contacted by copyright holders.

Unlike a traditional search engine such as Google, the sites targeted Thursday are filled almost exclusively with links and references to copyright movies, software and music.

Sites like IsoHunt may have a hard time claiming to have no knowledge of the copyrighted material they provide access to. Still, the matter has yet to actually be tested in court.
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