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IsoHunt Shut Down? 297

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the copyright-wack-a-mole dept.
psic writes "One of the most popular torrent search sites, IsoHunt, was taken down on tuesday. The owners of the site say that the move came from their ISP without prior notice, though it is probably linked with the MPAA's lawsuit against various torrent search sites earlier this year. They plan on moving ISPs from the US to Canada, and say that moving the servers so someplace like Sweden or Sealand is not an option, as they put it: "BitTorrent was created for legitimate distribution of large media files, and we stand by that philosophy as a search engine and aggregator."" This is a story we've heard before with other sites, only serving to further demonstrate that playing wack a mole with torrent aggregators isn't the solution to anything.
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IsoHunt Shut Down?

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  • the obligatory... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by apodyopsis (1048476) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @12:05PM (#17647252)
    The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers
    • by Mateo_LeFou (859634) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @01:10PM (#17648404) Homepage
      from now on can we just abbreviate?

      TMYTYGTTMSSWSTYF

      saves screen space
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @12:06PM (#17647268)
    anyone got a mirror?
  • good idea, bad idea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by theStorminMormon (883615) <theStorminMormonNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @12:08PM (#17647292) Homepage Journal
    This is a story we've heard before with other sites, only serving to further demonstrate that playing wack a mole with torrent aggregators isn't the solution to anything.

    I wholeheartedly agree that, from the perspective of the **AA, playing wack-a-mole isn't a good solution. But as an observer it's pretty funny.

    More seriously, I think it is providing a long term solution, just not the one the **AA want. As these stories grow they continue to be seen as the greedy bullies they truly are. The main purpose of the RIAA and MPAA these days is to do the dirty work for the actual labels/studios and absorb the backlash. People get mad at the RIAA, not Sony. Or so the strategy goes. As anti-RIAA and anti-MPAA sentiment grows in severity and spreads into the mainstream, there will start to be bleedthrough to the actual labels and studios.

    So basically the wack-a-mole strategy is the best education we could hope for that IP laws are a disgrace, that greed is the real motivator of DRM, and that DRM does nothing but create a nuisance for the consumer without effectively harming pirates. I want more and more of your average Joes to hear about stuff like this and start asking "What is with these guys anyway?" The answers will lead to some sensible IP reform.

    It's a long-term goal, and I realize that in the meantime a lot of innocent people are having their lives ruined, but I think that tactics like this go a long way towards the final solution for DRM.

    -stormin
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      A lot of innocent people are having their lives ruined? Since when have the majority of Americans used torrent? How many do you think are really affected by this? Torrent is not a protocol widely in use by the 'Average Joe', and as such, the shutdown of sites like isoHunt won't have any real effect on them. Recall how widely the Napster issue was publicized on the news...do you really think shutdown of torrent sites will get that kind of press? Also...can you really consider those who download illegal
      • by Zapperlink (635003) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @12:17PM (#17647430) Homepage Journal
        The point is IsoHunt is purely a medium which people could search out torrents. The purpose was to make a library of legit legal torrents that people have created. With positive ideas such as IsoHunt's it also brings in the idea that we can also share that which isn't legal with our friends just as quick. To manage this idea would be riddled with problems. Would you shut down google because it linked to bomb making instructions, or even torrents directly where you can get your favorite Adobe product for free? The answer is simply no. It's just another attempt to target a resource that is popular for being able to find things efficiently.
        • by xiong.chiamiov (871823) <xiong.chiamiov@gma i l .com> on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @12:38PM (#17647756)
          My favorite Adobe product? That would be, uh, just a minute ...
        • by shark72 (702619) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @12:45PM (#17647930)

          "The point is IsoHunt is purely a medium which people could search out torrents. The purpose was to make a library of legit legal torrents that people have created."

          The first clue that the above is bullshit is the site's title. "legit, legal" torrents are seldom distributed as ISOs. If you're thinking that it refers to Linux ISOs, think again -- there's already a site [legaltorrents.com] specializing in "legit, legal" torrents. Notice that there are few if any ISOs to be had there, and no Linux distros.

          Listen, I understand why the owners of ISOHunt think they need to keep chanting the "legitimate" line; it's to build a case that they didn't have intent [wikipedia.org]. But we don't need to be their stooges. We know exactly why ISOHunt was there. Let's not kid ourselves.

          • there are few if any ISOs to be had there, and no Linux distros.
            Well no, the Linux ISOs are already tracked by other people, and it seems pointless to seed copies of already-existing torrent downloads, as the torrent network benefits when more people join. Splitting the user base across several trackers would be to everyone's detriment.
          • by EasyTarget (43516)
            legit, legal" torrents are seldom distributed as ISOs ...... there's already a site specializing in "legit, legal" torrents. Notice that there are few if any ISOs to be had there, and no Linux distros.

            Good grief, -all- the legit torrents I have got recently have been ISO's (as opposed to the other stuff, it tends to come in divx). They have all been F/OSS distros by the way, and why would I search when I can go direct to the relevant website to find them. The lack of linux distros on the site you list is al
      • by theStorminMormon (883615) <theStorminMormonNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @12:21PM (#17647488) Homepage Journal
        I was referring to the RIAAs practice of suing everyone and their grandmother without regard to the evidence, literally. This is another element of the wack-a-mole strategy. I thought my reference to the RIAA by name, among other things, would have made this obvious.

        -stormin
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Daemonstar (84116)

        A lot of innocent people are having their lives ruined?

        I think he's referring to the lawsuits against people who have not done anything wrong but have had lawsuits brought against them.

        Also...can you really consider those who download illegal torrents..."innocent"?

        You assume that people have no legal right to the files they download using links on the site. I have downloaded several games, CD's and even some books that I do own, but they have either become unreadable, stolen or lost over the years.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          You assume that people have no legal right to the files

          Well, most of the time they don't have that right.

          Depending on where you live and what is stated in the EULA:

          - Software, you may make 1 backup copy of the disk. The copy would be of the disk that is in your possession (i.e. copy would have the same CD-Key).

          - Audio CDs, the verdict is not out on what is legal and not legal. If the *AA have their way, we won't even be allowed to RIP to mp3 format.

          - Books, I believe that, in most places, you cannot even
      • Hey! It's perfectly legal for me to time shift a TV show using a blank tape and a VCR. Why would it be illegal to time shift the same show with a torrent site and a computer?
        • by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworldNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @12:49PM (#17648046) Homepage
          Hey! It's perfectly legal for me to time shift a TV show using a blank tape and a VCR. Why would it be illegal to time shift the same show with a torrent site and a computer?

          Torrents generally encompass people-shifting, which isn't quite legal...
          • by Mr2001 (90979) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @08:46PM (#17656600) Homepage Journal
            But it obviously should be legal, at least in the case of media that's broadcast for free - that is, media that the receiver could've recorded himself.

            I can record The Office and watch it later at my home, if I want to spend the time to program my VCR. But let's say I'm busy or technophobic: I can pay someone to come to my house, set up a VCR, and program it to record The Office, right? Nothing wrong with that.

            Now take it one step further. Why shouldn't I be able to pay someone to record The Office using his VCR, and bring the tape over for me to watch? It saves him the hassle of coming over to my house just to push a few buttons on my VCR, and the end result is the same: I watch the show later, on tape, instead of live.

            Now, one final step. Tapes are a dying technology. Why shouldn't I be able to pay someone to record The Office at home, encode it as an AVI file, and send me the file over the internet? The effect is exactly the same as bringing over a tape, which in turn is the same as recording it myself - I'm just delegating the work to someone else who's better at it, or at least more willing to do it. The fact that I'm paying is irrelevant; he might just as well decide to do it for free, and in fact that's what happens every day on the internet.

            We can extend the same logic to music that's broadcast over the radio: I can record the song myself and listen to it again, so therefore I should be allowed to have someone else record it and send me a copy. It's nothing that I couldn't do myself, and there's no sensible reason to force me to do it myself when someone else is willing to do the work for me.
    • I wouldn't be so quick to jump on the **AA (OK you probably should), but it may not be them. Yesterday, I posted a link http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=217180& c id=17633124 [slashdot.org] to OSX on ISOHunt in the story about Apple sueing for posting links to the iPhone skins.

      My bad ISOHunt! I didn't realize Apple monitored /. that closely. Sorry!!!!
    • I dont think it will be the solution we all want. Draconinan DRM is the future, its coming from more angles then just the RIAA.

      Combined have a lot more money then the rest of us to push their DRM and intrim law suits. The suits are just a delay tactic anyway, until they get total control of our data.
    • by westlake (615356)
      This is a story we've heard before with other sites, only serving to further demonstrate that playing wack a mole with torrent aggregators isn't the solution to anything.

      In the fantasy world of Slashdot world every site that goes down reveals the light at the end of the tunnel.
      Meanwhile, the righta agencies gain experience and precedent, so that each take-down comes easier than the one before.

      As these stories grow they continue to be seen as the greedy bullies they truly are. The main purpose of the RIA

  • by mastershake_phd (1050150) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @12:08PM (#17647300) Homepage
    Who wouldnt want to be the first torrent site on Sealand?
  • Isohunt (Score:3, Interesting)

    by shirizaki (994008) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @12:09PM (#17647320)
    Good one, probably a little bit better than TPB for a few files. I also liked their "mod choice" or whatever it was called. They actually approved certain files so you knew you weren't getting dummy info. they also had a ton of trackers for every torrent.

    I hope they go back up soon. I liked them.
    • by Thansal (999464)
      they were better then TPB because they Indexed TPB's trackers as well as all other public trackers.

      And THAT is the interesting (and worying) part. They don't even host trackers (last I checked), they just index other trackers! It is kinda like shitting down google because you can find torrents ussing their search engine.

      Example: Need For Speed search [google.com]
    • by dave420 (699308)
      They indexed TPB, so it had all its content, and content from other trackers, so it was considerably better than TPB, from a choice perspective at least. They rule :)
  • Its frustrating to see sites take the fall for things that aren't their fault. Holding isoHunt responsible for people downloading illegal content is stupid. Why stop with isohunt? Why not hold google responsible for letting me find torrent sites? Why not hold schools responsible for teaching me how to search for things on the internet? Why not hold dell responsible for letting me run files I shouldn't?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nomadic (141991)
      Its frustrating to see sites take the fall for things that aren't their fault. Holding isoHunt responsible for people downloading illegal content is stupid.

      They created the site specifically to allow people to download illegal content. And, with the ads, they profited from it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mcsethanon (1052496)
        We're talking about law here. You people keep saying "they made it for illegal downloads" and "look at the name" and blah blah. These are assumptions and opinions, nothing to do with what is legal. IsoHunt and any other torrent search engine, whether it's name be illegalstuffonly.com or totallylegaltorrents.com, is providing a search engine for torrent files. They're not the ones ripping and sharing The Da Vinci Code (as far as we know). They're not the ones creating and sharing the illegal content. It's n
    • Why not hold dell responsible for letting me run files I shouldn't?

      The **AA figured if you're running a Dell, you've got enough issues already.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by GaryPatterson (852699)
      Weren't there sections on the site, to help you find movies, TV series, applications, warez, etc?

      It's hard to claim that they didn't know they were providing torrents for illegal material if they categorised it for users.
  • I visited Torrentbox earlier today, and got a VERY similar message to that described in the article. Are they ran by the same people? If so, I really didn't know that. Torrentbox was my tracker of choice, but I still have to say that despite its issues, I really like torrentspy for searching. So I'm still good.
  • If the **AA thinks that infringement is occurring, but they take no steps to try and shut down some of the infringement, it's easy to say, "If this was harming you so much, why didn't you try to stop them?" I don't think anyone is naive enough to think that these measures will permanently knock out a lot of these sites, but when it comes to proving your case, it's the effort that counts.
    • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @12:41PM (#17647820) Homepage
      but when it comes to proving your case, it's the effort that counts.

      No, it's not. Copyright is not like trademarks. They don't run out if you don't enforce them. And the only evidence you need to convinct someone is proof they infringed. Past enforcement efforts have no bearing.

      So all these guys are doing is harrassing people and making themselves look worse. Is there a better solution? I don't know. But it's pretty clear that the shotgun lawsuit approach simply doesn't work.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Fastolfe (1470)
        If your case revolves around proving that you were harmed (as all civil cases do), then it does matter. What does it say when you have 10 people infringing your copyrights, and you single one of them out and claim that they're causing you irreparable harm, while the other 9 are doing the same thing? The harm must not be that severe, right? This will impact your ability to make your case and the ultimate compensation you receive.
        • You're right Fastolfe. Not only will it affect the amount of your compensation, it could also prevent you from getting an injunction against continuing infringement. One of the elements of getting an injunction (equitable) is inadequacy of the legal remedy (money). If you let others continue to do the same thing for years, you are going to have a hard time showing inadequacy of legal remedy.

          Playing "whack-a-mole" is basically mandatory for anyone who wants to protect their IP rights.
          • by Absolut187 (816431) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @02:00PM (#17649248) Homepage
            Oh, not to mention Laches & Estoppel.
            You can't sit on your rights for years and then suddenly ask a court to enforce them.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Abcd1234 (188840)
              I don't think Laches applies, as that implies prejudicial delay. Sure, if you wait around and then try to sue someone for billions of dollars in damages, the court may tell you to piss off. But it's not clear if that applies to cases like these.

              And it appears estoppel only applies if an infringer was given the expectation that their acts are condoned. Clearly, that's not the case (ie, massive advertising campaigns, etc), so I don't see how that would apply.

              'course, this is all speculation from a lightly
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by Absolut187 (816431)
                Courts have found estoppel by silence.

                Since these are equitable doctrines it is pretty much BS - judges have a LOT of discretion.
        • by Abcd1234 (188840)
          If your case revolves around proving that you were harmed (as all civil cases do), then it does matter.

          That *might* come to play when computing damages (though I doubt it), but will have no effect on the course of the trial (ie, it will not come into play when considering guilt or innocence). Either Joe is guilty of infringement or he's not. What other people are doing has no bearing on that.

          Furthermore, the statutory damages per infringement are *enormous* for your average joe... additional damages are e
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Absolut187 (816431)
        No, it's not. Copyright is not like trademarks. They don't run out if you don't enforce them.

        True they don't "run out" but there are equitable defenses that can apply. Laches and Estoppel apply to both copyrights and trademarks.
        If the studios allowed IsoHunt to grow for years, they might someday sue for an injunction only to be denied because the defense of Laches or Estoppel applied. This would mean that Ishunt would be allowed to continue operating. They might get a monetary damages award, but they wou
  • I don't get it. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by prelelat (201821) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @12:21PM (#17647496)
    They get turned off in the US so they move to Canada how is that proving a point instead of moving to Sweden or some other country where it isn't sketchy. Is it that they just got a good offer from Canada or are they trying to jump ship from the states.

    Wouldn't a bigger statment be to stay in the states cause that seems ot me what they are trying to do.

    It just seems somewhat contradictory to move from the States to Canada and then say we won't move to Sweeden because its too easy?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dave420 (699308)
      If they stayed in Ameeeeerica, they'd get instafucked by the **AA. I imagine they're moving to Canaaada to get around that. Or at least delay it. Or for poutines.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        If they stayed in Ameeeeerica, they'd get instafucked by the **AA. I imagine they're moving to Canaaada to get around that. Or at least delay it. Or for poutines.


        Try Q-Tips and rubbing alcohol. That'll fix up your stiiiiiicking keeeeeys. HTH

    • Look at the way they phrased it (emphasis mine) -- "BitTorrent was created for legitimate distribution of large media files, and we stand by that philosophy". It appears to me that they are doing everything that they can to keep BitTorrent as legitimate as possible in the eyes of the public while getting out from under the jurisdiction (if that's what you'd call it) of the RIAA and MPAA. Because Sweden is probably known best in BitTorrent circles for its loose copyright policy (aka. "allowing piracy"), mo
      • by shark72 (702619)

        "It appears to me that they are doing everything that they can to keep BitTorrent as legitimate as possible in the eyes of the public..."

        No, sites like LegalTorrents [legaltorrents.com] and even BitTorrent.com itself [bittorrent.com] are "doing everything they can." ISOHunt puts absolutely no effort into maintaining legitimacy; when you visit a tracker site and see that the top stuff mirrors the top ten movies, CDs and games, it's pretty clear that the owners care not one whit about being "legitimate." Plus, the name "ISOHunt" is a pretty

        • So, how is moving to Canada going to resolve their issue? From what I understand, they're just as bad as the U.S. when it comes to matters of copyright. Going to Canada is like jumping out of the frying pan into another frying pan that's over the same fire. If their intention really was for piracy and profit, then Sweden would be the most appropriate option. I'm not saying that you're wrong, but either they're blowing a sh!tload of smoke or they've got some really incompetent people running it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tlhIngan (30335)

      They get turned off in the US so they move to Canada how is that proving a point instead of moving to Sweden or some other country where it isn't sketchy. Is it that they just got a good offer from Canada or are they trying to jump ship from the states.

      Wouldn't a bigger statment be to stay in the states cause that seems ot me what they are trying to do.

      It just seems somewhat contradictory to move from the States to Canada and then say we won't move to Sweeden because its too easy?

      I believe the basic reason

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by DrBdan (987477)
      Back in May 2006 CBC News (a Canadian network) did a piece on how IsoHunt was being sued (Google "cbc news isohunt" if you want to read it). The owner is actually a Canadian living in Canada, so the switch to a Canadian ISP could just be as simple as him deciding that since his US ISP dropped him he might as well go with something local.
  • by shark72 (702619) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @12:30PM (#17647640)

    "BitTorrent was created for legitimate distribution of large media files, and we stand by that philosophy as a search engine and aggregator."

    "...and at the same time, we know that 99% of what our customers are looking for is pirated, and we've made handsome advertising revenue. We'd like to keep making money off of the huge demand for piracy -- it's not like copyright owners have a monopoly on the concept of 'greed', you know -- so we're going to keep doing it, and keep throwing around that 'legitimate distribution' phrase, just because we enjoy the irony."

    At least TPB is a little more honest and straightforward in their goals. "legitimate distribution." Right, that's exactly what the typical isohunt customer is after, and that's exactly why they were purportedly sued by copyright holders. All that "legitimate distribution."

  • Is anyone suprised? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cliffski (65094) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @12:31PM (#17647656) Homepage
    I hadn't heard of that torrent site, but just as a test I googled this:
    "king kong torrent"
    try it, and check out the top links (the top two are from isohunt)
    That was just the first hollywood movie that popped into my head.
    It may well be that isohunt carried a lot of perfectly legal torrents, but any torrent site that carries a huge amount of copyrighted stuff is going to be attacked by the people owning the copyright. If you really want to support legal p2p, you need to make damn sure your site is absolutely rigorous when it comes to filtering out illegal content.

    In an ideal world, the anti-DRM, pro p2p crowd would be the very people who were actively moderating sites like these and keeping them clean of illegal content. As it is, nobody is going to take seriously any claims about such sites being mostly for legal use.
    • by Secrity (742221)
      I don't think you found what you were looking for.

      The links you found were for Kong: King of Atlantis; which was not exactly a blockbuster movie.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by pipatron (966506)

      In an ideal world, the anti-DRM, pro p2p crowd would be the very people who were actively moderating sites like these and keeping them clean of illegal content.

      In the pro-piracy crowd, there are no illegal content. If you buy a CD or a DVD, it's yours and you should be able to do what you please with the information.

  • Mirrored systems, distributed information blah blah.

    No sympathy, at all. It's entirely possible to install a system which would withstand a nuclear attack and continue running, hell, these days it's even cheap to do it. If it really mattered to them they could have put a system in which the MPAA couldn't stop running. This is really just a story of inept system planning.

     
  • Interesting that this happened within a day or so of the first HD DVD hitting the torrents.
  • by lpcustom (579886)
    A friend of mine got a DMCA letter from NBC regarding a torrent he was on for a movie owned by them. The torrent was listed on isohunt.com. This came three days ago. The site is a torrent search engine. That's all. It is stupid and wasteful for the RIAA or MPAA to go after a site like this. Google provides the same information, you don't see them getting shut down. I'd guess that it has something to do with how much Google is worth. I wonder if recording artists and movie makers are losing more money from
  • How funny... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sfing_ter (99478) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @12:49PM (#17648034) Homepage Journal
    the **AA are still gormless [urbandictionary.com] twits, this is like shutting down the nfl by getting rid of individual players... the frameworks by which these sites run exist on a plane they do not nor could they ever understand with their antiquated ideas of "how things are". Their reality is gone and good riddance. The truth is, had they labels jumped in and started the selling their shit on-line immediately, they would have had loyal customers, but now they have made adversaries of the very people they need to stay alive.

    Please, someone bitch-slap them off the planet, they really annoy me... perhaps to the same planet the buggy-whip makers are on...
  • Hydra (Score:4, Insightful)

    by slasho81 (455509) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @12:49PM (#17648058)
    Shutting down a large torrent site is a flawed strategy because it forces users to look up alternatives, strengthening many other sites. It's like a hydra. You cut off one head seven other heads grow back.
  • What is the solution? No MPAA\piracy bashing... just some constructive ideas. Anyone have any?
    • Adjust the price point to where the majority of people who pirate won't bother.

      I'm guessing that more often than not people are downloading for the following reasons.

      Price.
      Convienence (I missed last night's Office, or a movie that won't be out for months)

      So make it cheaper, and make it more convienent and everyone wins. The problem is not just that they are trying to prevent theft, the *AAs are trying to kill fair use at the same time.

      Their endpoint has nothing to do with pirating (or very little), it's so
  • Aside from being somewhat ineffective, it also tends to get you air time. More people hear about what is going on and want to join in.

    This is what happened with Napster in the beginning. Few 'average' people knew what the entire download 'scene' was until the RIAA drug their butts to court, and then the nightly news. "wow, i can download music on that internet thing.. where do i sign up".

    I also think the extra press it generated had a lot to do with the inital movement of the mp3 player industry in general
  • by ylikone (589264) on Wednesday January 17, 2007 @01:20PM (#17648586) Homepage
    Their new ISP is in Toronto and it's called NeutralData.com [neutraldata.com]. So will they not get a lawsuit slapped on them by the RIAA/MPAA even if they are in Canada?
  • If BitTorrent is so efficient at distributing files, why isn't it efficient to distribute the torrents and trackers and available files lists?

    Why does BitTorrent need aggregators?

    Something is not quite right here.

    Why don't they implement a distributed database of available files which itself is accessible and updated over BitTorrent?

    These "aggregators" appear to be a freakin' waste of time anyway. Every time I have tried to find a file via a BitTorrent aggregator, I find the torrents are alleged to have so

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