Torrent search engine isoHunt today announced that it has settled its legal battle with the MPAA for $110 million. The site’s owner has decided to throw in the towel and shut down the site for now, but an application for an appeal at the U.S. Supreme Court is still pending. The MPAA described the outcome of the case as a landmark victory that will preserve jobs and protect tens of thousands of businesses.
For more than seven years isoHunt and the MPAA have been battling it out in court but today the case appears to have come to an end, at least for now.
Both parties have submitted a request to conclude the case and isoHunt founder Gary Fung has agreed to pay a $110 million settlement and shut down the site.
“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,” Fung notes.
“I think one worry I want to address is at no time have I compromised privacy of any user on isoHunt, in terms of your IP addresses or emails,” he added.
At the time of writing isoHunt is still up and running but Fung told TorrentFreak that it will soon close its doors. It’s a landmark decision – the site has been one of the most visited torrent search engines for nearly a decade.
The MPAA is delighted with the outcome and hopes it will deter others from starting similar websites. The Hollywood group explained earlier that while two to five million dollars would be enough to bankrupt isoHunt, a higher penalty would scare off others.
“Today’s settlement is a major step forward in realizing the enormous potential of the Internet as a platform for legitimate commerce and innovation,” MPAA boss Chris Dodd, said in a comment.
“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 MPAA believes that the closure of isoHunt will help save thousands of jobs and protect many more businesses.
“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,” Dodd added.
The full terms of the settlement agreement have not been disclosed, but there appears to be more behind it. IsoHunt will be bankrupted by the $110 million settlement, so there is no reason to throw in the towel two weeks before the trial was supposed to start, unless they received something in return.
For the MPAA this is the second big official legal victory against a torrent site. In 2009 the movie industry group won its legal battle against TorrentSpy.
While the MPAA has booked a clear victory, the case is not completely over yet. IsoHunt recently filed an application to appeal the case at the Supreme Court, which could mean that both parties are back in court again in the not too distant future.