Torrent site isoHunt shuts down, to pay studios $110 million

In what will count as one more strike in the difficult war being waged between movie studios and illegal downloading, isoHunt, a search engine for BitTorrent files, has agreed to shut down all its operations worldwide as part of a massive piracy suit


In what will count as one more strike in the difficult war being waged between movie studios and torrent hosting sites, isoHunt, a search engine for BitTorrent files, has agreed to shut down all its operations worldwide as part of a massive anti-piracy suit.

Torrent site isoHunt shuts down, to pay studios 0 million

Representational image. Getty

The company, which was founded by Canadian Gary Fung, has also had to accept a judgment to pay the movie studios $110 million.

But it does remain unclear how much the studios will actually be able to collect

According to a court transcriptcitedby Techdirt, the movie studios' lawyers estimated that Fung and his company had only "two million dollars to $4 million, $5 million at the most" that they could possibly pay.

The legal battle has waged on for the last seven years.The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in March ruled against isoHunt, concluding that "there is more than enough unrebutted evidence in the summary judgment record to prove Fung offered his services with the object of promoting their use to infringe copyrighted material."

The settlement also prohibits Fung from "further profiting from the infringement ofMPAAmember studio content."

IsoHunt was sued by the studios back in 2006 and had been one of the most popular sites using the BitTorrent protocol. In 2009, a federal court judge issued an injunction against the site, but isoHunt continued to operate through private servers in Canada.

But others have pointed out that isoHunt's closure won't effect the movie industry. In a post on PolicyMic website, Sean Becker pointed out that the movie industry might have won a single battle, but the war against illegal downloading remains a losing one.

"Technology has irreversibly changed industries, which have either adapted or perished accordingly. Since the U.S. entertainment industry is here to stay, it will adapt in ways to increase the accessibility and affordability of their content to compete with the alternative of downloading - an alternative that will not die with the death of isoHunt," says Becker.

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