Isohunt gets a permanent injunction; may have to close down

newteevee.com reports that Isohunt, a popular torrent site, was issued a permanent injunction by US Judge Stephen Wilson of the District Court of California, Southern District. The injunction forces owner Garry Fung to immediately block access to most copyrighted content. Judge Wilson is the same Judge that ruled in favor of studios in a 2006 lawsuit against Isohunt that forced Fung to build 'Isohunt lite", a smaller, less robust version of the site that US users were redirected to. Wilson's response to the 'lite' version was easy to predict: "Defendants’ proposed ‘primal’ or ‘lite’ website contains all of the same indexing and searching functions as the original websites, only with a different interface for the users to operate.” 

The injunction compels Fung to not only take down whatever infringing material he's currently hosting, but to also actively filter out content and discourage illegal distribution in the future, be it in the form of manually taking down questionable content or by setting up very strict filters to make sure nothing illegal is uploaded.

While a solution that satisfies all the conditions of the the injunction is theoretically doable, it's highly unlikely that Fung will go through with such an active and restrictive filtering and moderation system without simply abandoning the site altogether. Fung has not yet released a statement regarding his intentions; the text of the injunction can be found here.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

"I'm a Mac" no longer; Apple shifts its advertising strategy

Next Story

Fable III PC release and Collector's Edition detailed

79 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Hardly use Torrent sites anymore. 6GBP per month for a RS account is well worth it. That coupled with a particular RS searchengine, and RS Download manager is > torrent'ing IMHO.

It takes about 1-3 years of legal battles to bring a torrent website down, in the mean time 10 others pop up and become just as popular and then again it takes 1-3 years to shut them down and so forth.

Everyone move to Wuala! http://www.wuala.com/ . You can search all public files and it doesn't seem like anyone patrols for illegal content. Free unlimited bandwidth, and you can get almost unlimited space by "trading" your hard drive space for online space (and they use that space like a P2P program, to save their own bandwidth). All in all, it is very cool.

I prefer usenet, yes it costs but its much much faster, but of course like everyone.. I'm just downloading linux distros and h movie trailers...... o.0

I would crap myself laughing if a torrent site named Skynet took off and became the largest and most reliable site ever.

"The injunction compels Fung to not only take down whatever infringing material he's currently hosting"

Well, thats easy... He isnt hosting any infringing material. Case closed.

It is sad to see, that people with no understanding of the concepts at hand, get to rule about the internet.

Please explain what you are talking about, it sounds more like BS then anything intelligent.

I find your lack of knowledge of Greek mythology and Star Wars disturbing...

God I like reading all this stuff. . .sorry had to get up off the floor; was laughing so hard I fell out of my chair. . .now where did I put that box of Kleenex.

Pam14160 said,
God I like reading all this stuff. . .sorry had to get up off the floor; was laughing so hard I fell out of my chair. . .now where did I put that box of Kleenex.

100% Still laughing...
It's fascinating how everyone moans if the pirate sights get nailed but at the same time they're all complaining about the companies trying to stop piracy coz they're losing millions...

Re@p3r said,

100% Still laughing...
It's fascinating how everyone moans if the pirate sights get nailed but at the same time they're all complaining about the companies trying to stop piracy coz they're losing millions...

If all these companies weren't so greedy and had much better prices, then piracy wouldn't be that much of a problem!
I wish there was a service available here where I can download HD Films to watch them (legally). Of course movie studios do not want that because of their greed...

And yet all of the studios reported record profits this year...as they did the year before, and the year before that. It's just about greed, folks.

excalpius said,
And yet all of the studios reported record profits this year...as they did the year before, and the year before that. It's just about greed, folks.

Agreed.

They're really complaining that they didn't make as much money as they wanted.

As far as the MPAA goes, perhaps you should tell the studios to stop remaking old movies (which didn't need remaking) and focus on original ideas.

Christ, they even remade Final Destination and that was released in 99/00?

darn and the USA just started using anonymouse to bypass lite
please dont let the best torrent site die i dunno where else id get my fix from

This is shocking. I could understand taking issue with the original isoHunt site. But the 'lite' version is nothing but a specially formatted Google search. Saying it "contains all of the same indexing and searching functions as the original websites" is tantamount to bringing suit to a search engine.

Not a surprise. Censorship on behalf of corporations is in. Control of netizens is in the making. Big brother has invisibly infiltrate into all of our livelihood and dictate what we can and can't do is part of our life now. So pretty soon we are just living zombies work for materialistic things we think we want but dont actually need.

think2010 said,
Not a surprise. Censorship on behalf of corporations is in. Control of netizens is in the making. Big brother has invisibly infiltrate into all of our livelihood and dictate what we can and can't do is part of our life now. So pretty soon we are just living zombies work for materialistic things we think we want but dont actually need.

That's a bit over the top...

ISO Hunt was great, for a time. But if one head of the Hydra falls, two more will only take its place. You can't win. If you strike [ISOhunt] down, it will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

Kaidiir said,
ISO Hunt was great, for a time. But if one head of the Hydra falls, two more will only take its place. You can't win. If you strike [ISOhunt] down, it will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

Please explain what you are talking about, it sounds more like BS then anything intelligent.

Pam14160 said,

Please explain what you are talking about, it sounds more like BS then anything intelligent.

Oh, the irony....

Actually, the hydra analogy, thought unoriginal, is perfect!

Guess the government is sick of handing out written subpoenas. As much as I hate the greedy ****ers in Hollywood, I can't blame them for taking stricter actions. You'd think people would learn by now.

It's the studios that need to learn the new way. File sharing of all kinds is free advertising, the equivalent of modern digital radio (using their gray-haired analogies).

Some people will always listen to music for free on the radio, while many want to buy and own the real thing.

excalpius said,
It's the studios that need to learn the new way. File sharing of all kinds is free advertising, the equivalent of modern digital radio (using their gray-haired analogies).

Some people will always listen to music for free on the radio, while many want to buy and own the real thing.

Exactly

What he is doing is completely legal in Canada (he is a Canadian resident living in BC)...even if he were to host the actual content, it would still be legal. This was proven in court, where a judge ruled that hosting copyrighted content is akin to opening a library and letting people borrow/copy books. An activity that is legal and regarded a fair use. I believe the same analogy can be used for torrents and index cards. Either way, the US ruling is irrelevant, and may be applied only to US users only.

zivan56 said,
What he is doing is completely legal in Canada (he is a Canadian resident living in BC)...even if he were to host the actual content, it would still be legal. This was proven in court, where a judge ruled that hosting copyrighted content is akin to opening a library and letting people borrow/copy books. An activity that is legal and regarded a fair use. I believe the same analogy can be used for torrents and index cards. Either way, the US ruling is irrelevant, and may be applied only to US users only.
Not so fast. Our politicians, Steven Harper and his conservative teammates, are working on change that to adapt US demands.

think2010 said,
Not so fast. Our politicians, Steven Harper and his conservative teammates, are working on change that to adapt US demands.

Harper is an ass. Campbell isn't much better.

Depending on Canadian law, yes, he can essentially ignore this ruling if Canada won't take puppet action. But I'm not familiar with how Canada would respond to this.

think2010 said,
Not so fast. Our politicians, Steven Harper and his conservative teammates, are working on change that to adapt US demands.

Ever notice they only really get serious about it just before an election - the bill never gets to a vote, instead it just dies as parliment is shut down.

Ah, so sad, not our fault, just bad luck really. Next time? Well, that will take a while - things have changed, we have to have more consultations, draft a new bill... Oh look, ANOTHER election. Fancy that. Honest, we are trying our very very best, we swear we take it seriously, honest.

It isn't like we are avoiding passing a law that just about any judge would toss out practically the first chance they get, it's just that these things take time.

REALLY.

If the US Government gets involved, I guarantee their first attempt would be to threaten the Judge's job. Not pay him off.

It's the megacorp entertainment studios that are spending millions bribing congressmen and senators to make these unconstitutional laws against sharing. The studios are trying to defend their dying business models to the death.

smooth3006 said,
what the heck is with all of these torrent sites closing down? thank god the king demonoid is still alive.

Pirate Bay is the biggest one, Demonoid is the second.

smooth3006 said,
what the heck is with all of these torrent sites closing down? thank god the king demonoid is still alive.

Demonoid owns all, Piratebay is second. What you can't find on Demonoid, you can almost always find on Piratebay.

Billus said,

Demonoid owns all, Piratebay is second. What you can't find on Demonoid, you can almost always find on Piratebay.


That's your opinion. The Pirate Bay is known as THE biggest torrent tracker in the world. I'm not saying that Demonoid is crap, because I use it myself for years, but TPB is bigger.

TDT said,

That's your opinion. The Pirate Bay is known as THE biggest torrent tracker in the world. I'm not saying that Demonoid is crap, because I use it myself for years, but TPB is bigger.

Seriously? That's because they are the same as Walmart... Low Quality. Will you buy all your clothes and expensive items from Walmart? Of course no! Demonoid has much better content and it is very high quality, they are the same as your favorite clothes store in the mall. If something is too expensive or not there then off to Walmart for the cheaper price. So really The Pirate Bay may have much more content, but they definitely do not have the same amount of quality, and Demonoid has much more quality and if you need porn or something then off to The Pirate Bay. But Demonoid is the clear winner, especially that their ads aren't malware like The Pirate Bay's ads...

TDT said,

That's your opinion. The Pirate Bay is known as THE biggest torrent tracker in the world. I'm not saying that Demonoid is crap, because I use it myself for years, but TPB is bigger.

TPB is public; Demonoid is largely invite-only (most of the better torrents are behind the invite-wall). No; Demonoid doesn't charge. However, they only do invites every so often.

Also, instead of trying to sue Demonoid out of existince, they try other tactics (Demonoid is just recovering from another DDoS attack; was it really coincidental that it kicked off while TPB was having their latest woes?).

The objective is still the same - attempting to perpetuate a model that even the content owners are aware is broken.

"Defendants Gary Fung and Isohunt Web Technologies, Inc.
(collectively, “Defendants”) induced infringement of Plaintiffs'
copyrights in violation of United States copyright law."

"induced infringement"? So they actually went out and made people break copyright laws?

Something's wrong with this judge...

Deadpool2k said,

He's not US based, my bad.

I guess it is canadian based company.. which does not make much difference since canada is puppet of US in term of copyright issues. I will hate to see ISOhunt go down.

Auditor said,

I guess it is canadian based company.. which does not make much difference since canada is puppet of US in term of copyright issues. I will hate to see ISOhunt go down.

Hardly. Canada's stance on piracy is a gray area at best right now.

FrozenEclipse said,

Hardly. Canada's stance on piracy is a gray area at best right now.


actually sharing and backing up is quite legal in canada and compliant with that treaty on copyright law.
the US is putting pressure on us to enact a police state esque law that would protect american companies' profit margins at the expense of the rights of canadian consumers.

Sell fake (Brand Name) products in your shop and trading standards will fine you and possibly recomend a prision sentance, why should this be any differant. IsoHunt was responsible for the spread of ilegal material and should face what it had/has coming.

McDave said,
Sell fake (Brand Name) products in your shop and trading standards will fine you and possibly recomend a prision sentance, why should this be any differant. IsoHunt was responsible for the spread of ilegal material and should face what it had/has coming.

I can find anything I want with any search engine, mirc, usenet, etc. Should everything be banned just because they have copyrighted material on them, or the possibility that they could?

Edited by iamwhoiam, May 22 2010, 8:15am :

McDave said,
Sell fake (Brand Name) products in your shop and trading standards will fine you and possibly recomend a prision sentance, why should this be any differant. IsoHunt was responsible for the spread of ilegal material and should face what it had/has coming.
Or even better... why don't you ban Google, Yahoo, MSN/Live/Bing, Altavista, HotBot, Excite/Lycos, <insert_here_search_engine_name>, etc... they all point to illegal content once you type something in their search boxes. [sarcasm intended!]
And if you're still blurry about this, why don't you read the text of the law, because selling merchandise [of any kind] is not the same as searching for it online.

mdgx said,
Or even better... why don't you ban Google, Yahoo, MSN/Live/Bing, Altavista, HotBot, Excite/Lycos, <insert_here_search_engine_name>, etc... they all point to illegal content once you type something in their search boxes. [sarcasm intended!]
And if you're still blurry about this, why don't you read the text of the law, because selling merchandise [of any kind] is not the same as searching for it online.

+1

mdgx said,
Or even better... why don't you ban Google, Yahoo, MSN/Live/Bing, Altavista, HotBot, Excite/Lycos, <insert_here_search_engine_name>, etc... they all point to illegal content once you type something in their search boxes. [sarcasm intended!]
And if you're still blurry about this, why don't you read the text of the law, because selling merchandise [of any kind] is not the same as searching for it online.

I agree. As you can see from some posts here, there are too many idiots in this world who don't realize this. ISOHunt also does not sell merchandise that I am aware of.

This is yet another example of our countries "justice" system. Just plain stupidity by judges.