Google, Yahoo, MSN and other major search engines could be engaged in a legal battle in Canada for returning search queries related to copyrighted material.
IsoHunt Web Technologies Inc, the company behind the IsoHunt
Bittorent search engine, has brought a case against the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) in a British Columbia court raising questions about whether search engines are liable for the sharing of copyrighted material.
Isohunt brought the case in court after the company received legal threats from the legal threats from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and CRIA.
The question brought to the court is whether popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo or MSN, which also return search queries linking in possibly copyrighted material, are breaking the copyright law in the same manner the IsoHuner web site does.
In court, ISOhunt's lawyer demonstrated to the judge that Google can be used to find all kinds of legally questionable files that can also be found through ISOhunt. The only thing that ISOhunt does different is that it is used specifically to find Bittorrent files, while Google searches for all file types.
ISOhunt is a search engine for BitTorrent sites and links posted by users, but that it doesn't store any of the content, nor work directly with those sharing the files.
"It's disappointing to see CRIA wanting to unnecessarily complicate our well defined petition, in attempt to bog us down with time and money through messy discovery and in the process the court's time too," IsoHunt president Gary Fung wrote at the company's web site.
The litigation will mark the second court battle that ISOHunt finds itself fighting, after the company's dispute with the Motion Picture Association of America over similar copyright issues.