According to Wired News, Bram Cohen, who created BitTorrent, and his team of developers are getting ready to release an advertising-supported search engine for torrent files. Ask Jeeves is slated to provide the sponsored links for the search site, which will be available at the BitTorrent website. And apparently, the team is pretty confident that they won’t get sued either:
But [Chief Operating Officer Ashwin] Navin isn’t worried — because the new search engine indexes every torrent it can find without human intervention, the company can’t be held liable for results that happen to point to infringing content, he says. [Stanford University Law Professor Mark] Lemley says that’s probably right, at least as a matter of law: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act provides safe harbor for “information location tools” if administrators promptly remove links to infringing content upon notice by the copyright holder.
The MPAA slammed BitTorrent last week for accelerating the spread of a pirated copy of Revenge of the Sith — a leaked studio workprint of the third Star Wars prequel debuted online even as fans queued up for Thursday’s theatrical release.
You would think that the MPAA would learn from the RIAA’s mistakes, but apparently not. Just like CD sales went up in recent years despite downloading, movies show no sign of slowing down either. Episode 3 almost broke Spiderman’s opening weekend record, taking in $108 million. Oh yes, that BitTorrent protocol is doing such harm! Please.
More importantly, even if they do somehow successfully sue the new BitTorrent search engine, they can’t shutdown the protocol, so there will always be torrent files available.