Filesharing site IsoHunt shutting down after $110m movie settlement


isohunt-logoAnother one bites the dust: filesharing service IsoHunt is shutting down after agreeing to pay Hollywood studios $110m after being found guilty of copyright infringement earlier this year.

The settlement brings to a close a seven-year legal battle between movie industry body the MPAA and the torrent search engine, and sits alongside similar conclusions to previous litigation involving LimeWire and TorrentSpy.

Unsurprisingly, the MPAA is chuffed, pointing in its press release to the scale of IsoHunt: 44.2m peers, 13.7m active torrents and the 426th most-visited website in the world.

“Today’s settlement is a major step forward in realizing the enormous potential of the Internet as a platform for legitimate commerce and innovation,” said chairman and CEO Chris Dodd, who suggested that “clearing the field” of sites like IsoHunt will benefit legal film and TV services like Hulu, HBO Go, Vudu and Crackle.

For his part, IsoHunt founder Gary Fung seems relaxed. “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,” he told TorrentFreak.

The site will shut down by 23 October, with Fung promising users he isn’t giving up any of their personal data as part of the settlement. One more mole whacked, then, and a big one. But for TV and films particularly, there are many more peeking out of the ground.

Written by: Stuart Dredge