IsoHunt latest BitTorrent site to shut down

IsoHunt latest BitTorrent site to shutdown
BitTorrent loses another big name

Famous torrenting site IsoHunt has revealed that it is closing – putting 10.5 years of file transferring to bed.

IsoHunt is one of the most-established torrenting sites on the web, but a continual wrangling with the MPAA has meant that its owners have no choice but to shut down within the next seven days.

Isohunt joins a long line of torrent sites that have disappeared of late because of legal issues.

As site owner Gary Fung explained back in January on IsoHunt's 10-year anniversary, the likes of Kazaa, Suprnova and LokiTorrent all disappeared because of "copyright cartels". He believed, though, that sites such as IsoHunt had to exist to enable sharing on the web.

"In this age of 'broadcasting yourself', we are often both creators as well as consumers," said Fung.

"And in my ideal world, consumers will share what they want, freely, and creators will be promoted accordingly and compensated fairly. Minimal friction, and minimal middlemen in the way who doesn't help in connecting consumers directly with creators."

Strong message

Alongside closing IsoHunt, Fung must also pay $110 million in damages to the MPAA, according to Wired.

Speaking about the ruling, Chris Dodd, chairman of the MPAA, said: "Today's settlement is a major step forward in realizing the enormous potential of the internet as a platform for legitimate commerce and innovation.

"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."

Fung, though, isn't letting the closure stop his internet ventures, explaining in a blog post: "IsoHunt has been a learning experience beyond what I imagined. 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.

"I'm working on new projects, so this is not a good bye, but announcing a new beginning for yours truly."

One of these projects may be IsoHunt Spotilight. Teased back in January, Fung said it was a service that would give something back to those who make the music and movies that people torrent.

"Think Kickstarter, Netflix, Spotify, Gamefly, Kindle Owners' Lending Library rolled into one, with global licensing from day one that only makes sense for the Internet," said Fung about the project.

"If we can make such a system of frictionless funding, creating, consuming and sharing happen like I'm imagining, it's going to be beautiful."

Via Wired

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.