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MPAA Sues File Swapping Search Engines For Copyright Infringement

The Motion Picture Association of America is still suing its way through America's courts, hoping to shut down any and all companies whose software programs abet piracy and copyright violation. Most recently, the film industry group has targeted seven small search companies, including TorrentSpy, for helping visitors find content and instructing them how to download it. TorrentSpy, seeking a dismissal, reacted by saying the MPAA might as well have sued Google, since Google and TorrentSpy do essentially the same thing. Well, sort of. Google tries to turn the whole Web into a searchable index, while TorrentSpy just focuses on helping its visitors find torrent files, which are, more often than not, ripped-off music or movie files that have been stored in an easily sharable file format. This is the first time the MPAA has charged such companies with copyright infringement. In the past, its target has been actual file sharing networks, not file sharing search engines. TorrentSpy argues that its site doesn't contain any copyright works or links to copyright works, nor does it promote copyright infringement. Further, it says the service it provides cannot be distinguished from the way Google indexes sites and brings back relevant results to what users are searching for. The MPAA says TorrentSpy goes beyond the U.S. Supreme Court's decision against Grokster by offering users a tool to infringe copyright and promoting the use of that tool for infringement.

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