Friday, 18 October 2013 11:55

ISOHunt Closes Down Under Legal Pressure; Faces a $110 Million Fine

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The MPAA can score another victory in their ongoing (and lopsided) battle against file sharing on the internet as the popular Torrent search site ISOHunt has announced it is closing down. For the last few years site owner Gary Fung has fought the MPAA over allegations of copyright infringement. The case resembles the one that was thrown at The Pirate Bay several years ago in that ISOHunt did not actually store files on the site. The lawsuit brings many questions to mind about search engines in general and if systems designed to index the internet can be policed.


ISOHunt is not the first victim of the overreaching MPAA and will not be the last MPAA President Chris Dodd has made it clear that he will stop at nothing to ensure his business model remains intact. Even if it means cutting off campaign funds to people that do not support his designs. Dodd is also believed to be behind the US DoJ’s siege-like attack on Mega Upload and Kim Dotcom as well as the take down of TorrentSpy in 2009. In both of these cases the MPAA (through the legal system) is trying to enforce their policy.

The MPAA is also making it clear that their attacks are not about justice, but sending a message to everyone out there not to pee in their pond. According to a transcript of court proceedings the MPAA knew that a significantly smaller damage award would be more than enough to bankrupt ISOHunt and its owner. Instead they opted for the outrageous figure of $110 million dollars despite admitting that something along the lines of $4-5 million would suffice.

The disparity between the two numbers has led some to believe that the MPAA is not concerned about any real damage done, but they want to use statutory amounts as a form of deterrent. If this is the case then how can the MPAA and others in the copyright industry claim the hundreds of millions of dollar losses they do when lobbying for harsher laws? After all they argued that the damages cannot be measured in mere dollars when they asked for the statutory damages in the first place. Well at least that is what they told the people responsible for making the laws. They talked of jobs lost and millions of dollars lost even for a single file in the wild and now even with the Statutory damages in place they often ask for damages that far exceed those setup by law.

I wonder what would have happened if a consumer advocate or someone other than MPAA had been present to explain the retail value of the files in question? I have to wonder if someone had presented real figures on these items would things be different. The short and sad answer is: probably not. When you are dealing with a group that is willing to put political pressure on a government to get them to act as their own police you will get very frightening results and the situation is only bound to get worse as Chris Dodd can now talk directly with all his old buddies in Congress. The battle is not completely over though as Gary Fung has filed a petition with the US Supreme Court on the matter. You can read the petition below.

isoHunt's SCOTUS Petition for Writ of Certiorari by Gary Fung

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Read 2584 times Last modified on Friday, 18 October 2013 11:57

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