After being found guilty of inducing copyright infringement at a massive scale and liable of paying millions in damages to the MPAA, isoHunt is asking a federal court of appeals to grant it a jury trial.
Approximately two weeks ago the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals made a decision in the isoHunt case. The three-judge panel ruled against Gary Fung (founder of isoHunt), making him liable of paying millions of dollars in damages to Hollywood’s studios.
Despite this decision, isoHunt is not yet ready to lay down its arms.
“Fung submits that, in a serious miscarriage of justice in a landmark case, he has been wrongfully denied trial by jury and found liable by judges on disputed facts through application of erroneous legal standards,” Ira Rothken (representing Fung), wrote to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday.
In an attempt to obtain a trail, Fung’s attorney asked the court of appeals to rehear the case, this time with a bigger panel of judges.
Furthermore, Rothken pointed to the fact that there is no difference between what Fung did and what Google does – that is not hosting infringing links but merely provide with them.
“No infringing materials touch Fung’s websites; he has no capacity to investigate or to police the internet,” he wrote.
His argument, however, may not appeal the court, who previously stated that unlike Google, Fung does not fall under the protection of U.S. copyright laws. The reason for that, the court continued, is because Fung’s business model was made to infringe copyright in the first place.
In response, Fung said that isoHunt was a search engine just like Google, and that it should be protected by the DMCA. He continued by saying that isoHunt acted on all takedown request from rights holders.
The court of appeals found him guilty anyway.
In a previous article on the subject, we’ve mentioned the court’s arguments about Fung posting messages that encouraged users to download files whenever they visit the website. To that, Rothken said:
“Liability based on messages culled from digital storage that are remote from any specific infringements at issue will severely chill free speech. The effect of decisions herein is to make sarcasm directed at copyright enforcement or statements in support of file-sharing a reason for later imposition of liability.”
If the court denies the request, Gary Fung will find himself in the position of paying a lot of money to the MPAA – that is up to $150.000 per infringement.
Stay tuned to find out more!