Record industry sues isoHunt for millions using Canada's "lax" copyright laws

Michael Geist sez,
As the debate over Canada's copyright reform legislation, Bill C-32,continues to rage before a legislative committee, one of the most frequently heard claims is that tough reforms are needed to counter Canada's reputation as a "piracy haven". The presence of several well-known BitTorrent sites, most notably B.C.-based isoHunt, is cited as evidence for Canada's supposedly lax laws that the industry says leaves it powerless.

When the bill was first introduced last June, the Canadian Recording Industry Association stated that "stronger rules are also needed to rein in Canadian-based peer-to-peer websites, which, according to IFPI,have become 'a major source of the world's piracy problem'."

Politicians have taken note of the concerns. Industry Minister Tony Clement said the new bill will target "wealth destroyers" and Liberal MP Dan McTeague has lamented that "the very existence of an isoHunt in Canada is problematic and is very much the result of what appears to be a legislative holiday for companies and other BitTorrent sites."

While the notion of a "legislative holiday" appears to be the impetus for some of the provisions on Bill C-32, what is left unsaid - and thus far unreported - is that 26 of the world's largest recording companies launched a multi-million dollar lawsuit against isoHunt using existing Canadian copyright law just three weeks before the introduction of the bill.

Weak Canadian Copyright Laws? Recording Industry Files Massive Lawsuit Against isoHunt


  1. Yeah, Canada’s definitely a piracy haven… for the labels, that is. Will the new laws help to force the labels to pay the royalties they’ve been keeping for themselves?

    (haha of course not)

  2. I was under the impression that they paid a recordable media tax in Canada which makes the RIAA and MPAA’s arguments redundant

    1. We do pay a blank media levy, which is supposed to provide us license to copy music for our own personal use. It does not cover television shows, movies, or even books on tape.

      Also, the levy allows personal copying for personal use. I’m not allowed to copy a CD and give it to my friend, but they’re allowed to come over to my home, take one of my blank CDs and use my computer to copy one of my music CDs for their use.

      Under the levy, the courts have ruled that downloading is legal, but uploading is not legal. With bittorrent, any downloader is also an uploader, and technically in violation of copyright law.

  3. You want “wealth destroyers”? Close down the piracy stores at Pacific mall in Toronto.

    One of the reasons bittorrents are so popular here is because so much content on the web is “US only”. I’d gladly pay for content, and do pay for it whenever it’s available here, but you can’t have it both ways.

  4. isohunt isn’t even a bittorrent tracker, it’s a freaking search engine! By that logic, google is also illegal because you can use it to find websites that in turn help you download things.

  5. Wealth destroyers? Well, guess who are these wealth destroyers? The Recording Industry themselves, because they refuse to sell their products to inferior beings like myself (I am not an American citizen).

  6. I think the main problem about comments so far is that they all assume that the record industry uses a relatively sound, logic-based approach to the piracy issue and isn’t just throwing its wheight around to squeeze money from new sources in a frightening new world where they are become more and more redundant.

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