US mistakenly seizes a music domain – and holds it for 18 months

Unsealed Court Records Confirm that RIAA Delays Were Behind Year-Long Seizure of Hip Hop Music Blog | Electronic Frontier Foundation.

A common statement is that the US does not censor web sites, but rather polices “crime.” The definition of crime, however, depends on the government doing the defining. In this case, a site was shut down based on linking to news stories about piracy.

As part of Agent Reynold’s argument as to why Torrent-Finder is liable he points to a series of posts by the Torrent-Finder Admin in the site’s forums. Specifically, he names the following:
I was able to view several posts by the user “Torrent Finder,” including “Top 10 Most Pirated Movies on BitTorrent,” “Piracy in the Music Industry,” “Piracy Can Boost Book Sales Tremendously,” “The First Episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ Leaks to BitTorrent,” and “Piracy domain siezure bill gains support.”

Agent Reynolds helpfully provides some of these “posts” in the exhibit. And therein we discover a serious problem. The exhibit shows a page from TorrentFreak.com, the popular blog (who we link to quite often) doing its weekly research report — and not Torrent-Finder. In fact, if you do searches on those “posts” that Agent Reynolds claims are by Torrent-Finder, you quickly discover that a few are blog posts on TorrentFreak, one is a post from ZeroPaid and the last one is a story at CNET’s News.com by Declan McCullough.

In other words, the “support” that Agent Reynolds provides for why Torrent-Finder’s domain should be seized is that he claims that Torrent-Finder’s admin linked directly to infringing material. But that’s not true. Instead, the admin was simply pointing to a bunch of different news stories.

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One thought on “US mistakenly seizes a music domain – and holds it for 18 months

  1. Pingback: Please Realize That Piracy is a Service Problem. » http://infosecblog.antonaylward.com - System Integrity: Without Integrity you don’t have Security

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