After 10 years of just being a regular old search engine, nothing to see here, isoHunt is shutting down, ending its long reign as one of the most popular—and most beleagured—BitTorrent indexes on the Internet. Launched in 2003, isoHunt received its first major legal action three years later from the MPAA, which announced that was suing the site and its founder, Gary Fung, for copyright infringement, saying it had knowingly provided a place for people to illegally download movies, TV shows, music, and software. It’s been battling it out with the major studios ever since, with isoHunt proving surprisingly resilient—rebounding from having its original ISP drop it in 2007 by finding new servers almost immediately, attempting to dodge some of the legal technicalities by debuting an “isoHunt Lite” version, and generally remaining an immortal testament to the Internet’s determination to not pay for stuff.
However, that’s all over now: Despite some bungling of the evidence by the MPAA, isoHunt lost all of its court rulings beginning with the first major decision in 2009, and was now facing damages of up to $150,000 per each infringement in an upcoming hearing—a number that would seem incalculable, given how many thousands, if not millions, of torrent files are traded on it every day. So instead it’s agreed to pay a settlement of $110 million, then shut down by Oct. 23 of next year—or, around the time your download of “Game.Of.Thrones.Seasons1-3.COMPLETE.720p” should be done.
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