MPAA Forces isoHunt to Hand Over $110 Million (and Then Die…)

Today, the founder of isoHunt, Gary Fung, announced the site will be closing down as the result of pressure from the MPAA.  isoHunt has also agreed to pay $110 million as part of a settlement, all because people used isoHunt to search for pirated movies and TV shows.

The BitTorrent search engine and tracker has operated for ten-and-a-half years, and has been fighting this battle for seven of those. In his announcement, Fung said:

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.

Gary Fung has long argued that isoHunt was simply a search engine for torrents, and was comparable to any other search engine.  He posted a petition to the Supreme Court of the United States yesterday, which points out how critical this case will be for search engines and the level of liability they assume for infringement.  As isoHunt goes down in flames, perhaps this statistic – part of a study spearheaded by Fung – will resonate:

95% of torrent files searchable via isoHunt could also be found via Google or Yahoo, using the exact same search terms.

So when is the MPAA going to sue Google for that time you searched for “Breaking Bad free online”?


Image by aledlewis, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

11 Responses


    Now its time to shutter the rest of the Bit Torrent sites and remove links to sites with pirated material.

    • Anonymous


      And perhaps Google should take notes, too:

      It’s getting harder and harder to see any difference between IsoHunt and the search company — neither hosted any infringing material, both are well known public directories of criminal sources from which you are encouraged to download stolen Intellectual Property, and both made/makes huges fortunes from infringement.

      • Not a MPAA employee

        You either work for the MPAA or are some altruistic self righteous douche bag that thinks they are your friend. The MPAA represents greed… period. What’s next?… If I let my neighbor borrow a cup of sugar, are the people from the Dixie Crystals gonna bust down my door???

        • Anonymous

          Hm, guess it’s tough times for pirates & pedophiles, huh?

  2. TuneHunter

    Well, when they kill them all then Google, Yahoo and the labels will start to make $.0001 per tune from advertising. Then they will hire f# and they will quadruple this cash bonanza to $.0004.

    We should be all excited ! Great times in front of US.

    • TuneHunter

      MPAA and RIAA is overdue to hit at SHAZAM, GRACENOTE (Sony!) Soundhound, Google lyrics ID and similar tune suggest services.
      All discovery services, at the moment, are the biggest plunderers of the music house. They keep the music store in the open.
      Time to stretch “fair use doctrine” and forcefully convert them to cash registers of new Music Industry and remove them from own starvation zone.
      Most of the piracy will vanish at the same time.
      Current legal efforts to extort money from radio should be urgently diverted to hit Shazam and the friends.
      Radio with discovery services like Shazam is destine to become the best retailer of music and discovery place for new music.
      RADIO with limitations of radio display and current technology should never pay for airplay – if anything logic calls for payments to RADIO.

    • Make B.S. illegal

      lol, yeah, it will make things die for like 30 mins before another clone appear 😛

      • Anonymous

        Good to see an optimistic pirate, such a rare sight these days. 🙂

        • Anonymous

          This is going to have a devastating effect on the torrent/file sharing community.