While the entertainment industry continues to clamp down on what it regards as violation and theft of its property, as witnessed by the recent Swedish court decision that sentences the founders of the Pirate Bay to jail time, one Vancouver P2P activist is taking on the big guns of old media in the courtroom.
Gary Fung is the founder of Isohunt, one of the most popular torrent sites on the internet. He’s arguing his site and others like it are search engines. As documented in a recent article by the Vancouver Sun’s Gillian Shaw, Fung’s argument is that any serach engine or indeed any other website with possible links to copyrighted material could be held liable, which is clearly an untenable situation. Using Google for one is a staggeringly easy method to find torrents.
And Fung also insists that the problem lies not with the users downloading films and music but with the entertainment industry being seemingly unable to adapt to new technologies.
And if history is any indicator, he’s right. P2P isn’t going anywhere, no matter how mucht he entertainment industry wishes it would go away, and money-making services like the iTunes Music Store prove that, when executed properly, consumers are willing to pay for digital downloads. But we’re probably in for several more years of court cases and acrimony before big media comes to that inevitable conclusion.