Google has so far steered clear of the recent torrent lawsuits, even though the defendants in these cases have often likened their BitTorrent indexing service to what Google does - in that BitTorrent indexes are really just search engines.
But Google is now entering the fight, filing an amicus brief for the isoHunt appeals trial, but instead of backing fellow search engine isoHunt, it is standing by the MPAA's side. Google attacks isoHunt for being guilty of contributory infringement, that owner Gary Fung even "took affirmative steps to foster infringement".
Google is involved with its own copyright infringement appeal, with Viacom losing the original trial. So it may seem somewhat strange that Google would take the side of the MPAA, considering Viacom has often referred to the isoHunt trial as precedent in building its case against Google's YouTube.
The key issue is whether simply dealing with DMCA takedown notices is enough, whether more proactive actions needs to be taken by isoHunt or YouTube to remove and prevent obvious cases of infringement, even if it a DMCA complaint was not forthcoming. This is the so called "red flag" infringement that was part of the original isoHunt ruling, for infringement so obvious that a DMCA takedown notice is not even need. And it is this point that Viacom argues makes Google just as guilty as isoHunt.
Google's attack on isoHunt therefore is all about self protection. It is arguing that there's no need to even bring up the issue of "red flags" or even DMCA takedown, because isoHunt actively promoted piracy, and intentionally avoided dealing with DMCA takedowns. In other words, don't find isoHunt guilty of "red flag" infringement, because they're guilty of so many much more obvious acts of infringement.
Do you think Google is right to defend themselves this way, even though it will seriously hurt isoHunt's chances? Post your opinion in our comments section, or in this forum thread: