BitTorrent site isoHunt shutting down thanks to settlement with movie studios

A big BitTorrent search engine, isoHunt, will soon be closing its doors, thanks to a settlement that has been reached between its owners and the major motion picture studios. In a press release today, the industry trade group the Motion Picture Association of America announced the terms of the settlement, which includes the shutdown of isoHunt by October 23rd.

The press release states that the MPAA have asked a court to enter a $110 million judgment against isoHunt and its owner Gary Fung. The group first filed a lawsuit against both the site and Fung in 2006, accusing both of encouraging others to engage in downloading pirated movie and television content. In 2009, Judge Stephen Wilson of the Central District of California ruled in favor of the MPAA, which was later affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in March of 2013. In the latter decision, the court ruled that isoHunt had taken "no steps to develop filtering tools or other mechanisms to diminish the infringing activity by those using his services."

Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the MPAA said today's decision was a "major step forward in realizing the enormous potential of the Internet as a platform for legitimate commerce and innovation." So far, isoHunt and Fung have yet to comment on the settlement. isoHunt is considered the fourth largest BioTorrent site on the Internet with 44.2 million peers and 13.7 million active torrents. Alexa.com ranks isoHunt as the 426th most visited site on the Internet worldwide.

Source: MPAA | Image via isoHunt

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In Canada, a standup comedian released a digital download of one of his show online, bypassing the middle men. So instead of paying 38$ at the store I got to see his show for 5$ in HD. One of the few times I paid for content (movies, music, games) in my life. When prices will be affordable, I'll stop pirating.

Living in Canada, I don't have as many choices as in the US like full Netflix or Hulu or whatever streaming they use. My options are very limited. I'd spend hundreds if not thousands a year for internet connection and digital rights just to be able to enjoy good media content.

Btw, Mike Ward is the comedian. He's french and does some english gigs as well. I'll pay when content gets to reasonable prices. Not that I don't feel any guilt in doing so but I'd rather steal from a thief than get stolen from.

Doesn't matter. We have plenty of file sharing sites with "loaded latest content". One site is down. Two more will debut next week.

You cant win over piracy!

Ahhh, the memories... one of the great few is leaving us. But I can understand; the owner probably wants a life too after such a long time.

Anyway, as for 'the industry'... nope, they're not getting it. They're embracing it because they have no choice but will sabotage every step of the way. They're letting Spotify and other services live because without them they'd probably only driving just Porsches instead of Ferraris now. But they don't like those services. Just look at the ridiculous rules some/most have. Limited number of skips. FF is not allowed. No, of course you can't stream stuff wirelessly from Android to your home stereo (but it's OK with a cable or iOS *headagainstwall*)

That's the industry at work. Why would you impose such rules? Just to make people buy CDs again because they suddenly seem more convenient? Yea, I know. CDs are good. They are not scary like that internet fad.

Same goes of course for movies. I'm especially blessed in that field because I live in Austria. Meaning we don't get any streaming movie service at all since our version of the MPAA seems to think it has 800 million paying customers behind it instead of 8 million who didn't ask for their 'services'. So Netflix, Google Movies etc. just give us the shaft, which I find understandable. iTunes does have a monopoly here but I refuse to bite that bitter, expensive Apple. I can buy the Blu-ray for the price of a 720 movie on iTunes so nope.

I also stopped pirating music when I got Rhapsody Premium. You have almost everything you could want whenever you want it. On Demand and Netflix is a good start but what if we could use those services with movies in theatres? *mind blown*

@LaP and @CorruptionTheory are exactly right.

With services like XBOX Music there is almost no reason left for anyone to pirate music. Why not do the same thing with movies? Everybody wins.

I've stopped pirating music since I started using Spotify and Pandora. I'd pay for Spotify Premium, but I don't have a US credit card. I did pay for Pandora with a Canadian CC

I couldn't deal with the sound quality on Spotify, or not being able to listen to an album on Pandora, but XBOX Music hit my sweet spot.

There's pretty much an option for everybody though, and that's the way it should be.

Imagine a Hulu like service that had most movies ever made, and new movies within a week of street date, all streaming at least at 720p with commercials, and I could dig it. $5-10 a month for no commercials and streaming to devices and 1080p, and I'm sold.

timster said,
I've stopped pirating music since I started using Spotify and Pandora. I'd pay for Spotify Premium, but I don't have a US credit card. I did pay for Pandora with a Canadian CC

You can pay with Paypal if you've got an account.

"Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the MPAA said today's decision was a "major step forward in realizing the enormous potential of the Internet as a platform for legitimate commerce and innovation."

No, today is a major step in corporate sponsored Internet censorship.

Javik said,
"Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the MPAA said today's decision was a "major step forward in realizing the enormous potential of the Internet as a platform for legitimate commerce and innovation."
+1

No, today is a major step in corporate sponsored Internet censorship.

timster said,
people still use public trackers? ... do people still use XDCC and fserv as well?

XDCC & fserv... Brings back good memories of late nights and coffee binges in 2001

thomastmc said,

XDCC & fserv... Brings back good memories of late nights and coffee binges in 2001

I'd love to see how the MPAA explain tash tags in court... Twitter is going to be in for a rough time.

CorruptionTheory said,
Good to see they are still throwing their money and time away instead of actually trying to make digital content available/affordable.

+1

Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the MPAA said today's decision was a "major step forward in realizing the enormous potential of the Internet as a platform for legitimate commerce and innovation."

He could not be more wrong. A major step would be the studios realising the enormous potential of the Internet as a platform for legitimate commercer. No more "this video is not avalaible in your country" would be a great start. Outside USA people often don't have any choice but to pirate if they want to watch something sooner than 2 years later.

LaP said,
Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the MPAA said today's decision was a "major step forward in realizing the enormous potential of the Internet as a platform for legitimate commerce and innovation."

He could not be more wrong. A major step would be the studios realising the enormous potential of the Internet as a platform for legitimate commercer. No more "this video is not avalaible in your country" would be a great start. Outside USA people often don't have any choice but to pirate if they want to watch something sooner than 2 years later.

Spot on. I don't pirate music anymore, and Spotify are getting £10 from me every month which is £120 a year, and a lot more than the £0 a year a few years ago I was paying...

LaP
said
. No more "this video is not avalaible in your country" would be a great start. Outside USA people often don't have any choice but to pirate if they want to watch something sooner than 2 years later.

AMEN.

DomZ said,

Spot on. I don't pirate music anymore, and Spotify are getting £10 from me every month which is £120 a year, and a lot more than the £0 a year a few years ago I was paying...

Problem is most of those service are not even avalaible in Canada. Spotify is not. Pandora is not. Hulu is not. Last time i checked Netflix sucked in canada with a library a lot smaller than USA. We have Last.fm but even if you pay for it things like the XBox Live app is not avalaible. Last time i checked Amazon.ca Prime would not let you stream movies in canada. I don't even know why they bother with Prime in canada unless you buy a lot it's totally worthless.

Here's what we got when going to those web site :

"Spotify is currently not available in your country. "

"Dear Pandora Visitor, We are deeply, deeply sorry to say that due to licensing constraints, we can no longer allow access to Pandora for listeners located outside of the U.S., Australia and New Zealand."

"Sorry, currently our video library can only be watched from within the United States. Hulu is committed to making its content available worldwide. To do so, we must work through a number of legal and business issues, including obtaining international streaming rights."

http://cn.last.fm/group/Last.f...IVE/forum/137848/_/582504/1

And add to this the infamous "this video is not avalaible in your country please go **** yourself elsewhere thank you".

Edited by LaP, Oct 18 2013, 12:26am :

LaP said,
Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the MPAA said today's decision was a "major step forward in realizing the enormous potential of the Internet as a platform for legitimate commerce and innovation."

He could not be more wrong. A major step would be the studios realising the enormous potential of the Internet as a platform for legitimate commercer. No more "this video is not avalaible in your country" would be a great start. Outside USA people often don't have any choice but to pirate if they want to watch something sooner than 2 years later.

Well said. I don't understand why TV shows of all things are region exclusive.

1 torrent site goes down and 2 new ones pops up pretty soon.

Nothing to worry about.

As long as i have The Pirate Bay, i'm all happy.

the owner of isohunt will owe them $110 million.

of course he probably doesn't have $110 million,and will probably file for bankruptcy,and get on with his life. they will suck most of his assets and any money he's holding on to, then when he gets discharged,and in 6 to 7 years , or however long it is to get cleared from his record, he will start fresh on a clean slate.

Edited by vcfan, Oct 17 2013, 8:29pm :

So, what, this guy cuts a check for $110 million, disconnects the RJ45 cable from the server(s), and calls it a day? Since when does a torrent search site have $110 million to toss around?

/me wonders about that...

theyarecomingforyou said,
It says a $110 million judgement against Isohunt, not being paid to them.

The expression "cuts a check" means he is paying them, not getting paid.

From the isohunt Facebook group:

"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 startup time. It started as a programming hobby in my university days that has become so, so much more. It's been a learning experience beyond what I imagined. I've done the best I could pushing the social benefits of BitTorrent and file sharing, the searching and sharing of culture itself, but it's time for me to move on to new software ideas and projects."

Funny how he doesn't mention making millions of dollars from the site. I'm betting the settlement involved the MPAA letting him keep a couple million if he shuts the site down. All these pirate site owners masquerade as some kind of freedom fighters where in reality they're just another business that profits off of other people's content.

giantpotato said,
Funny how he doesn't mention making millions of dollars from the site. I'm betting the settlement involved the MPAA letting him keep a couple million if he shuts the site down. All these pirate site owners masquerade as some kind of freedom fighters where in reality they're just another business that profits off of other people's content.

BTW, how do they make money since they have limited advertising and now way of making money off of the content? Just curious..

You think the guys at pirate bay made a lot of money ?? Watch their documentary. Same thing with isohunt, even if he made millions, which btw you dont really keep because you use it to invest in hardware and keep the ''business'' running, i'm pretty sure the 110 million judgment still hurts

They dont have the money for this settlement. Either thus 80mill or 600mill.
during the trials the research from mpaa showed sueing for 5million tops was enough to bankrupt them.