Isohunt shuts after 10 year run

November 2013



The operator of the popular file-sharing service isoHunt, is shutting down to settle a long-running lawsuit from the Motion Picture Association of America, according to court records. Gary Fung, the site’s Canadian operator, also agreed to pay $110 million in damages as part of the deal to end the long-running legal battle – although quite where he will get that sort of sum remains unclear. Programmer Bram Cohen released the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol in 2001, and its efficient way of transferring files has become the method of choice for illicit, peer-to-peer sharing of copyright.  The isoHunt litigation began in a Los Angeles federal court in 2006. In March of this year, a three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the DCMA would not apply to Fung  because Fung’s business model, the court said, was designed for the primary purpose of copyright infringement. Speaking to TorrentFreak Fung said: “It’s sad to see my baby go. But I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. 10.5 years of isoHunt has been a long journey by any business definition, and forever in internet start-up time. I think one worry I want to address is at no time have I compromised privacy of any user on isoHunt, in terms of your IP addresses or emails”. MPAA chief Chris Dodd told reporters: “Today’s settlement is a major step forward in realising the enormous potential of the internet as a platform for legitimate commerce and innovation. It also sends a strong message that those who build businesses around encouraging, enabling, and helping others to commit copyright infringement are themselves infringers, and will be held accountable for their illegal actions”.

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