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isoHunt goes offline early

By | Published on Wednesday 23 October 2013


File-sharing site isoHunt went offline ahead of schedule earlier this week, seemingly to prevent the Archive Team project from grabbing a complete back-up of the controversial website.

As previously reported, it was announced last week that isoHunt founder Gary Fung had finally thrown in the towel after years of legal battling with the entertainment industry, and had agreed to pay the US movie business $110 million in damages for enabling copyright infringement and to take his site offline.

The deadline for doing so was last night, but the site actually went dead on Monday morning, seemingly to stop the Archive Team’s back-up efforts. It also gave Fung an opportunity to leave his service’s users with a parting message, in which he pointed out the vast majority of the BitTorrent links stored on his site were available elsewhere anyway, via other torrent services and through Google.

Fung wrote: “This is it. We are shutting down isoHunt services a little early. I’m told there was this internet archival team that wants to make historical copy of our .torrent files. I’m honored that people think our site is worthy of historical preservation. But the truth is about 95% of those .torrent files can be found off Google regardless and mostly have been indexed from other BitTorrent sites in the first place”.

“So I might as well do a proper send-off to you dear isoHunt users, before final shutdown sequence on Tuesday. It’s been an adventure in the last 10.5 years working on isoHunt, a privilege working with some of the smartest guys I’ve worked with, and my life won’t be the same without this journey. For what I’m working on next, please look up my blog on Google and follow me there. Because as the Terminator would say with a German [actually Austrian] accent, ‘I’ll be baaaack'”.

A spokesman for Archive Team told Torrentfreak that they were actually interested in backing up meta data and comments from the isoHunt servers rather than the BitTorrent links themselves, adding: “[Although] I’m disappointed to see that we didn’t manage to archive all of isoHunt … I am quite happy to see how many people helped out, and what kind of a result it has had. 29 million IDs checked in roughly two days is still incredible”.

Although the music and movie industry’s long-running isoHunt legal battle is now nearing its end (Hollywood led in the US courts, though the Canadian music industry was also battling Fung), the isoHunt man’s closing remarks will likely add to the entertainment business’s resolve that Google should now be doing more to ensure its search engine is not a hotbed of links to copyright infringing content.