January 14, 2010

Jenner & Block recently secured a victory in the United States District Court of the Central District of California on behalf of all major motion picture studios in the United States in Columbia Pictures et al. v. Isohunt, a copyright infringement case against the BitTorrent website Isohunt and its owner Gary Fung.  In the first ever U.S. decision to address the merits of copyright claims against a BitTorrent operator, the Court held that Isohunt and Fung were liable for inducing copyright infringement and rejected the defendant’s attempts to compare themselves to conventional search engines like Google.

In granting the motion for summary judgment on liability filed by the Firm, the Court noted that Fung “personally engaged in a broad campaign of encouraging copyright infringement.” and that, within the Digital Millennium Copyright Act “there are no safe harbors for such conduct.” The Court also noted that, “This case contains the same general pattern presented in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd., A&M Records LLC v. Napster, Inc. and Arista Records LLC v.” all cases in which Jenner & Block secured victories on behalf of recording and/or  motion picture studios.  The Court concluded that, “Defendants’ technology is nothing more than old wine in a new bottle.”

The Jenner & Block team representing the motion picture industry in this matter was comprised of Partners Steven B. Fabrizio, Gianni P. Servodidio, Katherine A. Fallow, Duane Pozza and Associate Michelle A. Groman.

Please click here to view the Court’s ruling