Deal also ends ‘iconic’ file sharing website’s last legal battle…
Gary Fung, the man who launched isoHunt back in 2003, a website famous for allowing users to search pirated movies, music, and other files via BitTorrent has agreed to pay Music Canada a total of Canadian $66 million to end a near decade long legal fight concerning the website.
isoHunt was once one of the most popular websites for downloading songs and movies on the web. And while Isohunt itself didn’t actually host any pirated data, it did provide its users the access to the places where illegal files could be downloaded, which for trade groups seemed to have deemed the nub of the problem.
The president of Music Canada, Graham Henderson had this to say of the court settlement:
“Thousands of Canadian creators, our creative industries, and their employees are directly harmed by these activities. This settlement is a step forward towards providing consumers with a marketplace in which legitimate online music services can thrive.”
In 2008, Fung had filed a petition with British Columbia Supreme Court that sought to have his torrent website declared legal under the terms of the Federal Copyright Act, and came a year after the Motion Picture Association of America, the MPAA, won a victory in the US after finding isoHunt liable for copyright infringement on a massive scale. In 2013, the MPAA were awarded $US 110 million for their troubles. As an aside, Fung also agreed to close down isoHun.com permanently.
Fung may have lost the legal and financial battles, but in an upbeat and satirical blog post announcing his defeat, he did claim the moral high ground for isoHunt users stating:
“I promised that I’d protect isoHunt users’ rights and privacy in not disclosing any user data such as email and IP addresses in legal discovery from plaintiffs, which might be used for trolling and extortion…I can proudly conclude that I’ve kept my word regarding users’ privacy above.”
And while Gary Fung has, as part of his settlement deal alos agreed to never again be part of an operation like isoHunt, it seems that now he is ‘free at last from 2 lawsuits Moving On,’ the internet has not seen the last of Mr Fung:
‘As I’ve realized through the years, there are many industries to disrupt with internet software besides the media industry.’
Time will tell.