One of the biggest bittorrent search engines has ceased operation. The Isohunt website is shutting down after more than ten years according to its founder, Gary Fung.
Fung has reached agreement with Hollywood studios to pay compensation in the amount of $110 million ending a year long court battle between the film industry and Fung.
In the past seven years there have been numerous clashes between Isohunt and the film industry in the shape of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). The MPAA took umbrage that Isohunt was enabling the illegal download of protected materials even though Fung had always argued that his site was merely a search enging, one of many, and not a facilitator.
In 2009, the MPAA had shown that 95% of the files found on Isohunt were copyright infringed properties but Isohunt tried to circumvent the US legal system and moved its servers to Canada.
It is not clear whether Fung even has any money to give. There are claims that he has up to $5 million that the MPAA’s lawyers can target, but the consensus is that he doesn’t have $110 million. Of course, lawyers being lawyers, they had threatened to go for $600 million if the case had gone to court. Obviously, they were confident that they would win.
The 30 year old Fung, was only 23 when he decided to take on Hollywood. At that time he had over 170,000 gigabytes of movies indexed on his website, including man first run movies. The MPAA saw it as part of its claim that Hollywood was losing $2 billion a year to piracy.
Needless to say, Fung fought hard Whether you think it was justified or not. Sadly, after 7 years, it is time to throw in the towel.