Isohunt.com to shut down in settlement with movie studios

The BitTorrent search site lost an appeals court case earlier this year

BitTorrent search engine isoHunt.com will shut down operations next week in a settlement with U.S. movie studios that have long accused the website of copyright infringement, the studios said Thursday.

The eight movie studios, including Columbia Pictures, Disney Enterprises, Paramount Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox Film, have also asked a California court to enter a US$110 million judgment against the site and its operator, Gary Fung.

Under the settlement, the site will shut down next Wednesday.

The settlement is "a major step forward in realizing the enormous potential of the Internet as a platform for legitimate commerce and innovation," Chris Dodd, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, said in a statement. "It also 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 illegal actions."

The settlement in Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. v. Fung comes after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, in March, affirmed a district court's 2009 ruling against isoHunt for inducing users to illegally download and distribute the MPAA members' movies and TV shows over BitTorrent. IsoHunt and Fung were not protected by the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the appeals court ruled.

The MPAA's members sued Fung and isoHunt in 2006 in federal court in New York and the case was later transferred to Los Angeles. In 2009, Judge Stephen Wilson of U.S. District Court for the Central District of California ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, finding that the defendants' "intent to induce infringement is overwhelming and beyond reasonable dispute."

The site is ranked in the top 450 most-visited websites on the Internet, according to Alexa.com. It is the fourth-most-popular BitTorrent site, the MPAA said.

A representative of isoHunt wasn't immediately available for comment.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags copyrightinternetlegalvideostephen wilsonintellectual propertyInternet-based applications and servicesParamount PicturesMotion Picture Association of AmericaU.S. District Court for the Central District of CaliforniaChris DoddGary FungColumbia PicturesDisney EnterprisesTwentieth Century Fox FilmisoHunt.com

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?