The recent legal censorship injunction imposed on the search engine application of BitTorrent, has resulted in certain undue repercussions. In addition to filtering out targeted keywords, the MPAA filter (which, incidentally, has to be compulsorily applied right across the entire website) is also blocking perfectly legitimate web content too, including songs on the public domain.
Quite understandably, the management has not reacted kindly to this MPAA filter regulation, which is widely being regarded as too strict and restrictive. Gary Fung, the owner of the website, has even gone to the length of saying that such keyword filtering requirements (while present for certain Chinese search engines) are practically unheard of for web operators serving in the United States. A formal appeal against the injunction has also been filed on behalf of isoHunt. However, as the tumultuous legal proceedings rage on, torrent trackers have no other option but to comply by the new keyword filtering laws. The consequences of non-compliance are dire: isoHunt might even have to shut down its operations in the US if it does not abide by the keyword censorship regulations.
Adding further fuel to the controversy related to the MPAA filters is the fact that, even independent movies, uploaded by their directors themselves, are now being blocked. Search results related to both big Hollywood hits as well as short, online films are being filtered. A prime case in point in this regard would be director Brian Taylor’s 18-minute long supernatural flick ‘The Bite’. The frustrations of the director were particularly enhanced by the fact that his movie was getting remarkably good responses from American as well as European users, before the faulty censoring system took it off the web altogether. Music lovers looking for old classics from the 1930s are facing similar problems.
The MPAA filtering requirements have forced to take off many popular keyword combinations from the search lists and this, in turn, is preventing users from accessing their favorite web content. Quite a few valid, dictionary-verified words are being censored, contradicting the general right to free speech that is accorded to all individuals. With downloadable public domain materials now being blocked from view, opportunities to make money on the web have also taken a hit. The scopes for filmmakers to showcase their creativity via isoHunt have also diminished considerably, thanks to the MPAA filter.
The biggest irony of the entire confusion is that, the censorship regulations are, in fact, hampering the work of internet-based people who have never stolen any resource from the torrent site. Indeed, it is being feared that the implications of such restrictive injunctions might not be limited to the operations of isoHunt only. Even the keyword bases of the premier online search engines can also come under the scanner.
The idea of not being allowed to access authentic, non-pirated web content has not gone down well with general web users either. Many are even viewing the MPAA filter applications to be equivalent to a deliberate attempt to boycott all popular online resources with American origins from the World Wide Web.