isoHunt to Shut Down as Part of Settlement With Studios

IsoHunt to Shut Down

The website isoHunt will shut down as part of a settlement in a massive piracy suit filed by Hollywood studios, agreeing to pay $110 million for claims that the site induced the pirating of movies and TV shows.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Chooljian canceled a planned hearing after she was informed of the settlement. A copy of the proposed settlement was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Thursday morning.

The settlement terms include a $110 million judgment against isoHunt and its owner, Gary Fung, ending a seven-year legal battle over its operations.

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 appellate court also said that isoHunt was not protected by the “safe harbor” provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, concluding that the site had so-called “red flag” knowledge of infringement and that they were profiting from it through advertising.

The settlement also prohibits Fung from “further profiting from the infringement of MPAA member studio content.”

Chris Dodd, chairman of the MPAA, said in a statement that the settlement “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 actions.”

Studios sued Fung and isoHunt in 2006. It 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. After the 9th Circuit issued its ruling upholding that injunction, what remained to be decided was how much in damages the site would have to pay. After a district court ruled that isoHunt’s infringement was “willfull,” they faced damages of $150,000 for each act of infringement. In addition to the settlement amount of $110 million, the agreement requires that isoHunt shut down by Oct. 23, 2013, according to the MPAA.

Michael Elkin, an attorney representing isoHunt, had no comment.

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  2. says:

    > Despite efforts to minimise piracy, vast numbers still illegally downloaded TV series The Walking Dead

    And it’s not even worth that much.

  3. TOPDOG01 says:

    The M.P.A.A. and the other associated groups are just another evil empire built on greed. It is long past time when this greedy group of lawyers and corrupt politicians.should be tarred and feathered before being ran from town. Their grip on the music industry should be resisted by all. While robbing the musicians and blaming others they have been able to retain a power hold. Paid off politicians are busy passing their laws that rob us all.

  4. Ted Pedersen says:

    isohunt shut down? I almost did myself in when winmx went out, now what?

  5. white chowda says:

    Ahh my life is over! This is the beginning to the end for me :( ahh!!!!

  6. Keith says:

    Legally the decision is correct, however what the judges and the legal framework fail to address or intentional chose not to recognise is the root cause of why individuals use the site. COST! Purchase price for legitimate copies are too high. True enough production cost is high but after a length of time when the film makers have made tons of profits. Why can’t cost then be capped at a minimal – many people will not have a problem pay very little and do it legitimately. They can even make “subsidiary income” from the advertising like iso did.

  7. Victor Mann says:

    Google for “MPAA asks judge to exclude evidence on piracy losses” for a different perspective on this case with information the above article conveniently leaves out.

    • lakawak says:

      That is irrelevant. Both legally, and common sensically. Claiming that there is no losses due to piracy as at least as stupid…and likely far more so…than claiming that every single download is a lost sale. The most of the judgment is punitive damages anyway.

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