After a legal battle lasting nearly eight years, isoHunt founder Gary Fung announced the site’s closure last month.
The Canada-based Internet entrepreneur signed a $110 million settlement with the MPAA and shut down isoHunt.com, the site which he had worked on for more than a decade.
IsoHunt’s closing marked the end of an era, but despite the setback Fung is not giving up his ideals. Last month we reported that he had teamed up with an old friend, Clifford Joe, to start a new clothing line titled ‘Viva 10.23’, a reference to the date isoHunt was officially shut down.
Today the duo have launched their Kickstarter campaign, hoping to raise $10,230 through crowdsourcing to get the project started. People who back the project will get a T-shirt or hoodie of their choice, depending on the pledge amount.
Fung describes the concept as “political fashion” and the designs carry statements such as “Stop Watching Us” and “Freedom to Share.”
“For 11 years while I worked on isoHunt I’ve witnessed one thing: the Internet is about sharing, and file-sharing is a movement that is about more than mere files or copyright. It’s about the Freedom to share, the Freedom to create. And relatedly nowadays, the Freedom to not be spied on,” Fung told us.
“It is these freedoms, at the intersection of isoHunt closing and the erosion of privacy and other information freedoms, that gave me the idea for a clothing line. One that carries social statements with ironic twists, statements and designs in the form of t-shirts, sweaters and hoodies.”
Kickstarter Campaign Video
Viva 10.23 promises to be more than the average clothing line. True to the “sharing” spirit the founders believe in, the brand will also accept input from the public. They will create a sub-Reddit where people can submit and vote on designs and slogans for the next “P2P clothing” designs.
The majority of profits Viva 10.23 makes will be donated to organizations that support Internet freedom issues, such as EFF, Wikimedia and Openmedia.ca. Hollywood shouldn’t expect a cut, but Fung does have a word of advice for his former adversaries. If they really want to stop piracy they should do it through innovation, and not by suing people left and right.
“Give customers what they want, at high quality, with the most convenience, at the right price, at the right time. If not, battles are won but the war maybe already lost,” Fung says.
For isoHunt’s founder the clothing line is not going to be a major revenue source. He receives a one time consulting fee of $110 and continues to look for new ways to challenge the status quo.
“The Internet is a big place. I’ll continue using it to come up with new and better ways of upsetting the status quo where it’s stupid. Viva 10.23, what I envision to be a massively localized and crowdsourced political fashion platform, is one such way,” Fung says.