×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

IsoHunt Creator Disables Site Early After $110 Million Piracy Settlement

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.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Patrick Whitesell and Ari Emanuel WME

    Endeavor Targets Sept. 27 for Stock Debut, IPO Video Tells Company's Origin Story

    After years of preparation, Endeavor is set to make its formal Wall Street debut on Sept. 27, when its stock will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Endeavor has targeted Sept. 26 for the final pricing of its shares. The stock will trade publicly the following day. Earlier this week, Endeavor said its [...]

  • Netflix - Apple TV

    Netflix Stock Drops After CEO Acknowledges 'Tough Competition' Coming From Disney, Apple

    Netflix shares fell as much as 7% Friday to a nine-month low, coming after CEO Reed Hastings commented that the November launches of Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus will introduce a “whole new world” of competition. Hastings, speaking at the Royal Television Society conference Friday in Cambridge, England, said, “While we’ve been competing with [...]

  • Charlie Rose Sexual Harassment

    Charlie Rose Sued for Sexual Harassment by Longtime Makeup Artist

    A makeup artist who worked for Charlie Rose for 22 years has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit, accusing the former CBS and PBS host of years of unlawful behavior toward female employees. Gina Riggi alleges that Rose was verbally abusive with her and would often make derogatory comments about her weight. She also alleges that [...]

  • Rob Stringer

    Sony Music Chief Rob Stringer on Sustaining Growth and Recovering From the 'Dark Times'

    The Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference, now in its 28th year, gives top executives at major companies the opportunity to make their case to investors — and the Goldman analysts the opportunity to keep things on the up and up. While the analysts don’t necessarily grill the executives, they don’t lob softball questions either. That was [...]

  • Frank Grillo'Avengers: Endgame' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Matt Phelps Tapped as President of Joe Carnahan, Frank Grillo's Warparty

    Frank Grillo and Joe Carnahan’s Warparty productikon banner has appointed Matt Phelps president of the company. Phelps will head the Los Angeles office and be responsible for overseeing all film and television projects. “We searched long and hard to find the right fit for Warparty and felt that Matt embodied everything that we were looking [...]

  • Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent,

    Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent, Dies at 88

    Jack Gilardi, a longtime ICM Partners agent who represented such stars as Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, Jerry Lewis, Charlton Heston and Shirley MacLaine, died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 88. Gilardi was known for his gentlemanly style, love of the Los Angeles Dodgers and his skill at representing top actors. He [...]

  • Nexstar Completes Tribune Acquisition, Sean Compton

    Nexstar Completes Tribune Acquisition, Sean Compton to Head Programming

    Nexstar Media Group has become the nation’s largest owner of TV stations after completing its $4.1 billion acquisition of Tribune Media. The deal creates a broadcasting colossus with more than 200 stations serving more than 100 markets, although a number of stations will be divested to keep Nexstar in compliance with FCC ownership limits. Nexstar, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content