August 29, 2007

In a recent announcement via its corporate blog, TorrentSpy, a file sharing company located in The Netherlands providing access to torrent files, announced that instead of agreeing to provide user information to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), it will no longer allow users from the United States to access is search engine. According to Wikipedia, BitTorrent is a “peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P) communications protocol” and is a “method of distributing large amounts of data widely without the original distributor incurring the entire costs of hardware, hosting and bandwidth resources.” According to The Register (UK) article linked below, in May, 2007, Judge Chooljian of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California ordered TorrentSpy to submit server logs (including IP addresses and file lists), for which TorrentSpy received a stay, appealed, and was subsequently denied. According to the TorrentSpy blog post, its decision to prohibit visitors from the U.S. “was not compelled by any court.” Attempts to access content from TorrentSpy from the U.S. will now yield the following statement:

“Sorry, but because you are located in the USA you cannot use the search features of the website. Torrentspy's decision to stop accepting US visitors was NOT compelled by any Court but rather an uncertain legal climate in the US regarding user privacy and an apparent tension between US and European Union privacy laws.”

The TorrentSpy help page currently includes the following statement:

“The site has BLOCKED United States of America IP addresses (an "IP address" is the identifier of your PC on the internet,) due to privacy (or lack of privacy) laws in the USA. The forum staff do not have any special knowledge about this issue- we know what is posted on the public TorrentSpy Blog and that's it.”

TorrentSpy has announced its intention to appeal the recent denial.

The Register (UK) Article: LINK
TorrentSpy v. MPAA Blog: LINK
Wikipedia Entry for “BitTorrent”: LINK


Post a Comment

WIPO Press Releases

WIPO General News

Patent References

Click HERE to search issued U.S. Patents

Click HERE to search published U.S. Patent Applications

Click HERE to browse the MPEP (E8r6 in HTML and PDF, and E8r7 in PDF)

Click HERE to search patent assignments recorded with the USPTO

Click HERE to search Title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations (rev. 7/1/08)

Click HERE to browse Title 35 of the U.S. Code

Click HERE to view current USPTO fees


Copyright 2006-2010, Mark Reichel. The Daily Dose of IP is my personal website, and I am not providing any legal advice or financial analysis. Any views expressed herein should not be viewed as being the views of my employer, Ice Miller LLP. Any comments submitted to this blog will not be held in confidence and will not be considered as establishing an attorney-client relationship. Information submitted to this blog should be considered as being public information, and the submitter takes full responsibility for any consequences of any information submitted. No claims, promises, or guarantees are made or available regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information contained in this blog or otherwise available by searching from or linking away from this blog.

EPO Updates

Trademark References

Click HERE to search issued and pending U.S. Trademarks

Click HERE to search TTAB proceedings (via TTABVUE)

Click HERE to search trademark assignments recorded with the USPTO

The DDIP Author

Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

Click HERE to view my full professional bio at Reichel IP LLC.


Click HERE to join the e-mail list for my blog

Click HERE to provide feedback on the DDIP blog

Fellow Blogs/Bloggers

AwakenIP (Kuester)
Counterfeit Chic (Scafidi)
I/P Updates (Heinze)
Internet Cases (Brown)
Likelihood of Confusion (Coleman)
Patent Baristas (Albainy-Jenei)
Patent Docs (Zuhn et al.)
Patently-O (Crouch)
The 271 Patent Blog (Zura)
The Ice Loop (Ice Miller LLP)
The Indiana Law Blog (Oddi)
The Invent Blog (Nipper)
The Patent Prospector (Odom)
The TTABlog (Welch)