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Record industry welcomes isoHunt settlement

By | Published on Wednesday 27 July 2016

isoHunt

The Canadian and global record industries have both responded to the previously reported settlement reached between the labels and the man behind former file-sharing platform isoHunt.

As previously reported, although Gary Fung took his file-sharing service offline back in 2013 after reaching a settlement with the movie studios, legal action being pursued by the record industry continued, but was finally settled last week.

For many years Canadian Fung denied that his file-sharing set-up was liable for copyright infringement, at one point actually suing the record industry in a bid to have a judge confirm that opinion.

Canadian copyright law was actually a bit ambiguous on the liabilities around file-sharing for a while, though Fung’s arguments as to why isoHunt was not liable for the infringement it enabled others to undertake had generally been rejected by courts in various other jurisdictions.

In his settlement with the record industry, made with Canadian trade group Music Canada, Fung agreed to pay the labels $66 million, breaking down as $55 million damages, $10 million in aggravated punitive damages and $1 million in legal costs. He said last weekend: “After ten long years, I’m happy to announce the end of isoHunt’s and my lawsuits”.

Confirming that a settlement had indeed been reached, Music Canada boss Graham Henderson told reporters on Monday: “Music companies in Canada stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the fight against illegitimate sites that distribute massive volumes of creative works without compensation to creators. Thousands of Canadian creators, our creative industries, and their employees are directly harmed by these activities. This settlement is a step forward towards providing consumers with a marketplace in which legitimate online music services can thrive”.

Meanwhile, speaking for global record industry trade group the IFPI, its CEO Frances Moore added: “Courts all over the world have confirmed that websites such as isoHunt infringe rights. Artists, creators and record companies pay a heavy price for that infringement, in lost revenues, lost jobs and lost investment. This settlement sends a strong message that anyone who builds a business by encouraging and enabling copyright infringement faces legal consequences for these actions”.

In addition to damages he must pay, under the terms of the settlement, which has been filed with the British Columbia Supreme Court, Fung also agrees not to be associated with any other service that makes sound recordings available without licence.



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