isoHunt logo and screenshot of homepage.
|Type of site||BitTorrent and P2P search engine|
|Created by||Gary Fung|
|Alexa rank||263 (April 2013[update])|
|Part of a series on|
|Development and societal aspects|
|Non-public file sharing|
|File sharing networks and services|
|By country or region|
isoHunt is a BitTorrent index with over 1.7 million torrents in its database and 20 million peers from indexed torrents. With 7.4 million unique visitors as of May 2006[update], isoHunt is one of the most popular BitTorrent search engines. Thousands of torrents are added to and deleted from it every day. Users of isoHunt perform over 40 million unique searches per month. On October 19, 2008, isoHunt passed the 1 petabyte mark for torrents indexed globally. The site is the third most popular BitTorrent site as of 2008[update]. According to isoHunt, the total amount of shared content was more than 14.11 petabytes as of June 13, 2012[update].
isoHunt was founded in January 2003 by Gary Fung, a Canadian national. Its name is derived from the term ISO image, used to describe a 1:1 soft copy of a disk (typically a CD or DVD).
On February 23, 2006, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) issued a press release stating they were prosecuting isoHunt for copyright infringement. A year later, January 16, 2007, isoHunt was taken off-line, stating "Lawyers from our primary ISP decided to pull our plug without any advance notice".
After a major hardware upgrade, the site resumed normal operation by January 22, 2007, although experiencing several brief periods of subsequent downtime due to server changes.
In early 2010, users in the US and along south eastern Canada were redirected to a stripped-down version called isoHunt Lite in order to remove some of the factors that were used in determining liability for infringement; however, full access has been returned as of early 2012.
Correspondence with the MPAA
In February 2006 it was announced that the MPAA had launched legal proceedings against isoHunt, TorrentBox, TorrentSpy, ed2k-it, and several other BitTorrent indexing or tracker sites, alleging that these sites facilitate copyright infringement. On February 28, 2006 a lawsuit was filed against Gary Fung in the District Court of Southern New York. Fung stands to oppose the MPAA on legal grounds. On August 18, 2006, Judge Stanton granted a motion for case transfer from New York to California on the grounds of inconvenienced parties and similar cases already filed in the District Court of Central California.
On December 21, 2009, the court granted the MPAA's motion for summary judgment, finding IsoHunt and Fung liable for copyright infringement on the theory of inducement. The MPAA had presented evidence showing that the majority of content linked to on IsoHunt was infringing content, that the search engine was tuned to assist users in finding infringing works, and that Fung himself had made remarks suggesting the purpose of the site was to allow users to download infringing content. The court found that IsoHunt had not presented any satisfactory evidence to counter these claims, and at its core it was merely an "evolutionary modification" of Napster and Grokster, two P2P systems that had previously been held liable for inducing copyright infringement.
As a result, the court went on to issue a permanent injunction prohibiting IsoHunt to continue indexing and linking to infringing content.
DMCA takedown notices
IsoHunt has a history of complying with DMCA takedown notices, and has worked with various copyright owners in the past, such as the RIAA and Microsoft. The site uses a takedown process modelled on the DMCA, even though the servers were relocated to Canada in January 2007 where the DMCA does not apply.
Lawsuit against the CRIA
On September 8, 2008 Gary Fung announced on the Isohunt front page that he had made a preemptive move against an impending lawsuit from the CRIA by filing a petition to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Fung argues that isoHunt is merely a search engine to find torrents that are scattered around the web, much the same as Google or any other search engine can be used in the same way.
In the beginning of 2007, isoHunt restructured its server setup and bought mostly new hardware for the cluster that operates the site. The cluster has a total of 34 AMD Opteron cores, 70 GB in RAM and 30 hard drives ranging from SATAs to 15,000 rpm SCSIs.
The network started with a D-Link switch but due to multiple failures, isoHunt moved to a Force10 switch. Currently isoHunt is uplinked through Neutral Data Centers Corp to a mix of bandwidth providers.
On September 2, 2009 isoHunt announced the launch of a spinoff site, hexagon.cc. The goal of hexagon.cc was to have a place for social groups based on certain niches to share specific content relevant to their interests.
- "Isohunt.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
- "Toolbar and Stats". Isohunt.com. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
- "BitTorrent Sites Statistics". Isohunt.com. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
- "Top 10 Most Popular Torrent Sites of 2008 (stats from Alexa and Compete)". Torrentfreak.com. 2008-12-28. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
- "Isohunt Home". isohunt. 2009-11-03. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
- "Hardware upgrade after servers move to Canada". Isohunt.com. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
- IH (2003-01-21). "isoHunt Forum — Letters from MPAA". Isohunt.com. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
- "isoHunt Forums :: View topic — isoHunt tells court why Hollywood is wrong". Isohunt.com. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
- John Timmer. "isoHunt loses big: infringement "old wine in a new bottle"". Ars Technica.
- Nate Anderson. "1 down, 5 to go? isoHunt neutered by US judge". Ars Technica.
- "isoHunt DMCA Copyright Policy". Isohunt.com. 2007-01-22. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
- isoHunt gets shutdown by ISP and moves to Canada, CD Freaks
- "isoHunt Forums :: View topic — isoHunt sues CRIA on legality of search engines". Isohunt.com. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
- "Technical Details". Isohunt.com. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
- "isoHunt Launches ‘Social’ BitTorrent Site". torrentfreak.com. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
|Wikinews has related news: Wikinews interviews Gary Fung from isoHunt|