Where the RIAA is mostly interested in pursuing individual file-sharers in court, the MPAA has taken on several of the largest torrent sites on the Internet. After being awarded $110 million in their case against TorrentSpy last year, they are now focusing on the next target – isoHunt.
isoHunt founder Gary Fung is not intimidated by the movie industry scare tactics that started back in 2006, and he is willing to fight until the end. “I’m doing this for the future,” Fung said recently, while explaining that isoHunt is not much different than search engines like Google.
“When we talk about copyright we should be more forward thinking. It is a huge issue for the culture. The current state of copyright might not be the future state. And there’s increasing adoption of BitTorrent, even by large media. That is a glimpse of the future,” Fung commented.
The MPAA has a totally different view on the matter, and sees torrent sites as commercial operations with the sole intention of cashing in on copyright infringement. Steven Fabrizio, the MPAA lawyer who also represented the RIAA in their case against Napster is very clear about MPAA’s battle plan.
It is not so much about taking the site offline, the ultimate goal is to scare those who operate BitTorrent sites by pursuing exorbitant damages. In their case against TorrentSpy they continued to push for damages in court even though the site had been taken down, and now they are coming for a piece of the next torrent site.
isoHunt has no plans to discontinue its operations voluntarily, but should they lose in court against the MPAA and ordered to pay a fine, Fabrizio promises that the movie industry lobby will do everything it can to come and collect.
Fabrizio is well aware that Fung wont be able to pay millions if isoHunt ends up losing, but the MPAA is patient. “The judgment doesn’t go away. If Gary Fung creates a legitimate website, we’ll be there. If he sells that company for $100 million, we’ll be there. For the rest of his life we’ll be able to pursue that judgment,” the MPAA lawyer told the Financial Post.
The comments made by the MPAA lawyer and their dealing with the cases against TorrentSpy and isoHunt almost suggests that this is a personal vendetta of the entertainment industry lobby.
In the case of TorrentSpy the MPAA is indeed keeping its word for now. TorrentSpy owner Justin Bunnell was ordered to pay a $110 million fine last year after the court terminated the case against the movie industry. This decision is currently under appeal but the MPAA has already started pursuing the awarded damages.
In isoHunt’s case a ruling has yet to be made so all the talk about damages is purely hypothetical. We hope that isoHunt scores a victory, but it is not an easy battle in a country where lobbyists and Hollywood funded politicians are in power.