IsoHunt Creator Disables Site Early After $110 Million Piracy Settlement

IsoHunt to Shut Down

Owner of website found to have enabled piracy says 95% of its BitTorrent links can be found through Google

The founder of isoHunt pulled down the website’s directory of links to thousands of illegal file downloads early Monday — two days ahead of the deadline mandated in a settlement with Hollywood studios — but he doesn’t sound sorry about having run the piracy-enabling service for more than a decade.

Last Thursday, after seven years of litigation, the MPAA announced that isoHunt would shut down as part of a settlement in the massive piracy lawsuit filed by its member studios. IsoHunt agreed to pay $110 million for claims that the site induced piracy of movies and TV shows, although it is not clear whether studios will be able to recover anything close to that amount.

In a notice on the site Monday, isoHunt founder Gary Fung said an effort to archive links prior to the shutdown would not make much difference because “the truth is about 95% of those .torrent files can be found off Google regardless and mostly have been indexed from other BitTorrent sites in the first place.”

SEE ALSO: ‘Breaking Bad’ Creator Vince Gilligan: Piracy Boosted Show’s Popularity

The MPAA and others have called on Google to do more to fight online piracy. A study commissioned by the MPAA, released last month, found that 82% search queries that led to infringing URLs came via Google. The Internet company says it has numerous processes for combating piracy; among other steps, Google in 2012 disabled ad services to more than 46,000 sites for violating of its copyright policies.

IsoHunt.com — which carried the tagline “freedom of information” — had been among the most popular BitTorrent sites. It had listed more than 70 million active users over the past weekend, with more than 13 million active torrent downloads.

Fung, in a blog post Saturday, touted isoHunt as having a “world-class search engine” and praised his “awesome staff.” In the notice on the website he said it has been “a privilege working with some of the smartest guys I’ve worked with, and my life won’t be the same without it. For what I’m working on next, please look up my blog on Google and follow me there. Because as the Terminator would say with a German accent, ‘I’ll be backkk.'”

Under the settlement with the movie industry, Fung is prohibited from “further profiting from the infringement of MPAA member studio content.”

In a ruling this spring in the studios’ case against isoHunt, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found 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 court also found that isoHunt profited from the copyright infringement through advertising.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 21

Leave a Reply

21 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. dodo says:

    so what site do we use now people?????
    I piss on the movies, i download full music albums from isohunt. I know of kickasstorrents, but it is not the same for music

  2. leo hieb says:

    Truly, truly a sad day for internet torrent users. The Government and big corporations are trying very hard to take everything away on us. They have won the battle, but not the war. Everyone please continue to fight big brother. Never give up.

  3. Monte says:

    never think ..that people now go more to watch movie in theater..people go download more from eachother
    why does all actors every where over the world get so much
    in 3 ears they are millionair….this is outracious..
    but same as every where …judges are bribed by the big money companies.
    criminals wonn again..
    same as other say..
    i never give one dollar to go look too a movie ..never again in my life.
    i not sponsor actors ..who never worked in their live..
    only act their hobby
    better that judges look to the hughes amount off money actors get..
    and take that down

  4. Mrx2002 says:

    Haha this is just like the war on drugs…Kill one torrent site 10 more will be created ;)

  5. Tru2Game says:

    1 site close down, 2 site open… that is!!!!

  6. Mike G says:

    Why should Hollywood actors get paid millions of dollars to make movies? Their jobs are not even important. It’s just entertainment. They are over-rated clowns, performing for the amusement of the masses, and somehow they’ve become an elitist group of overly respected individuals, who people worship and put on pedestals…. Why should they make more than people who actually matter, like doctors, police officers and school teachers etc? What kind of messed up world are we living in?

    Seriously, what is wrong with society that we allow this sort of thing to happen? All the MPAA is doing is protecting the interests of huge Hollywood corporations who wish to continue their stranglehold on an industry that they fabricated out of thin air. A long time ago, movies were very cheap to go see at a theater and they were low budget and easily made… they were also boring and mildly entertaining, but still, it was nice and simple and movie makers weren’t all about getting rich. … and they were nothing more than a mere fancy. People didn’t really care that much about movies. Now the movie industry is a huge corporate machine full of jerks who only care about budgets and profits, and who really don’t even care about making their customers happy at all.

    And if you dig deeper… you see that the laws of this country are just there protecting rich people and their rich interests…. what happened to a democracy that is supposed to protect the interests of the little guy, of the average person. Why is government serving the rich? Because the government IS one of the rich. It’s a self serving government full of rich people who couldn’t care less about hard working Americans. That’s why the MPAA could win the case and why Fung has to pay money to make those rich jerks even richer….

    That’s the reality folks… so I fully support any activity which goes against the laws that make rich people richer, and I fully support anyone who opposes rich corporations like the Hollywood machine.

    Down with Hollywood. Down with the MPAA. And down with the law.

  7. bob says:

    You’ll never take down pirate bay so you’ll never stop piracy. Start adapting to modern times. It’s not 1960 any longer.


  8. In a notice on the site Monday, isoHunt founder Gary Fung said the shutdown would not make much difference because “the truth is about 95% of those .torrent files can be found off Google regardless and mostly have been indexed from other BitTorrent sites in the first place.”

    I read his message on the IsoHunt site and he was referring to Internet archivists who wanted him to keep the site up a few days longer so they could document the entire website. He wasn’t saying that shutting the site down was meaningless. (Just because Google still displays torrent links to IsoHunt doesn’t mean people can still access those torrents. That wouldn’t make any sense. The site has to be online.)

    He was actually saying that keeping the site open a few days longer was meaningless, because archivists could find most of IsoHunt’s cached pages on Google. There’s a big difference in what he said and the writer’s interpretation of what he said.

  9. buddy holly says:

    When costs come down then piracy will abate. I refuse to pay $28 cdn for a bu ray. Keep seeding!

    • Piratemaster says:

      I agree 100% that costs are way too high and that people will torrent because if it seed on my pirate brothers!

  10. Gary said that almost all of the torrents hosted at isohunt could be found using google. I tried it and yes, he was correct.

    I just use google now to search for torrents. Servers such as limetorrents and kickasstorrents seem to pretty much show up most of the time.

  11. Ron Jon says:

    Maybe if they didn’t pay the actors such crazy amounts then the movies wouldn’t cost so much and prices all around would be cheeper, allowing better access to the public. I refuse to pay the crazy prices the theatres are charging. Movies are not worth paying $14/person for. They can whine all they want….when they stop racking in billions of $$, then I may have pity.

  12. TravelGal says:

    I agree, Paul. And let’s not forget that half of the people who work for the studios download illegal files as well!

  13. paul says:

    this is so ridiculous. why does Hollywood spend all this time and money on lawyers instead of thinking of ways to innovate and move the industry forward.

    • LSDMT says:

      No kidding man… How about investing a little into better scripts and acting.. 95% of movies that come out today are big steaming piles of excrement… Unbearable acting, and story lines that make you want strangle everyone responsible for it. I actually BUY good movies. I do. But I will download to see if its good, and the movies that Hollywood have been coming out with lately are, like i said, huge steaming piles of excrement and the people who make this garbage dont deserve a single cent of my money.

      • Ionut M. says:

        I totally agree with you! Movies these days are made all the same, same acting, same stupid scripts, same lame subjects. Nothing new, nothing innovative. I piss on 3D, give me something I can watch and from which I can, maybe, learn something. What can my 15 year old son learn from “True blood” or from “Breaking bad”? Really, what? Can anyone tell me? They call Isohunt “pirate site”! Cretins …

  14. Looking For More says:

    So what’s the best site to use now?

  15. oh come on... says:

    oh come on…

More Digital News from Variety

Loading