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30/10/2013

isoHunt Shut Down In MPAA Court Case

Online streaming website isoHunt.com has been shut down, following a copyright lawsuit brought about by major US film studios against the site and its operator Gary Fung.
As part of an agreed settlement, the parties have jointly asked the court to enter a judgment of $110 million against the defendants.
The settlement was brought about by member studios of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Its members are: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios LLC; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
isoHunt.com was one of the most popular BitTorrent sites on the Internet, having claimed to offer 44.2 million peers 13.7 million active torrents
"Today’s settlement is a major step forward in realising the enormous potential of the Internet as a platform for legitimate commerce and innovation," said Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO, MPAA.
"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 follows a decision by a panel of three judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on March 21, 2013, affirming the district court’s 2009 ruling against isoHunt for "inducing" users to illegally download and distribute MPAA members' movies and TV shows.
"Consumers today have more options than ever before to legally access movies and TV shows on the Internet – from Hulu to HBO Go to Vudu to Crackle to UltraViolet and literally hundreds of others," Mr Dodd continued. “Clearing the field of illegal services like isoHunt will help ensure that these legitimate services can grow and thrive, and that consumers have even more choices."
"The successful outcome of this landmark lawsuit will also will help preserve jobs and protect the tens of thousands of businesses in the creative industries, whose hard work and investments are exploited by sites like isoHunt," Mr Dodd said.
The case began in 2006, when the MPAA’s member studios sued Mr Fung and his business, isoHunt Web Technologies, in the federal court in New York. The case was later transferred to Los Angeles.
In 2009, Judge Stephen Wilson of the Central District of California found that the "defendants' intent to induce infringement is overwhelming and beyond reasonable dispute."
An injunction was issued permanently prohibiting Fung from hosting, indexing, linking to, or otherwise providing access to MPAA member copyrighted works.
In March of this year, Ninth Circuit held that Fung and his company committed inducement by taking "no steps to develop filtering tools or other mechanisms to diminish the infringing activity by those using his services."
A statement by Mr Fung on the isoHunt website said: "We are shutting down isoHunt services a little early. I'm told there was this Internet archival team that wants to make historical copy of our .torrent files, I'm honoured that people thinks our site is worthy of historical preservation, but the truth is about 95% of those .torrent files can be found off Google regardless and mostly have been indexed from other BitTorrent sites in the first place.
"It's been an adventure in the last 10.5 years working on isoHunt, a privilege working with some of the smartest guys I've worked with, and my life won't be the same without it. For what I'm working on next, please look up my blog on Google and follow me there. Because as the Terminator would say with a German accent, 'I'll be back'."
www.mpaa.org
(IT/MH)
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