Founder of IsoHunt Thinks Bitcoin Can Kill Piracy

Gary Fung, the original founder of torrent tracking site IsoHunt – long since closed, then resurrected by others – believes that Bitcoin microtransactions could eventually kill online piracy.

Fung, who left IsoHunt after its initial closure back in 2013, told TorrentFreak, “Technologically, I envision studios and other media companies creating open APIs and platforms so new innovative streaming services can be developed on top. […] That would solve the studio’s fear of single players like Netflix dominating media distribution and eventually dictating terms in the industry.”

In the future, Fung see a model in which Bitcoin becomes the universal online currency for online media consumption, saying, “Imagine when everyone can watch and listen to anything, anytime, anywhere, with mere cents, automatically and continuously deducted from your Bitcoin wallet.”

“Here’s my tip to industry associations like the MPAA and RIAA for continued relevance in this Internet age, possibly for everyone’s benefits,” Fung said. “Become standards bodies for programmatic APIs over media rights, metadata and micro-transaction details. Record labels and movie/tv studios can use these standards to make their own works available for streaming and to accept payments from third parties.”

Source: KitGuru

The Pirate Bay Domain Returns, Displaying a 13-Day Countdown

Two weeks after its servers were raided, effectively killing the site, The Pirate Bay domain is back online, displaying a black skull-and-crossbones flag and a flipclock, counting down from 13 days.

A number of clones, both benign and malicious, have popped up over the last fortnight, but only since Sunday has the original domain, thepiratebay.se, been accessible. The domain now points towards a new IP address – 178.175.135.122 – from a server hosted in Moldova. Curiously, the pirate flag image is hosted by IsoHunt, suggesting an imminent collaboration between the two torrent giants.

Both The Pirate Bay and IsoHunt have so far refused to comment. It seems we will have to wait 13 days to discover what the future of The Pirate Bay is.

Source: TorrentFreak

The Pirate Bay is Back… On IsoHunt!

Just a week after Swedish police shut down the BitTorrent juggernaut, the Pirate Bay, the site is back, resurrected from an internet grave by torrent search site IsoHunt.

IsoHunt is of course using the tactic to try sway people to use their site, as their service is very similar to that of the PirateBay. However, the Pirate Bay site is back in its entirety at oldpiratebay.org.

“We, the Isohunt.to team, copied the base of the PirateBay in order to save it to the generations of users. Nothing will be forgotten. Keep on believing, keep on sharing,” said IsoHunt in a recent statement.

What’s important about this revival is the effect it has had on the wider industry. The removal of the Pirate Bay was a landmark case for police forces around the world, but despite their efforts, torrent traffic didn’t change and the site was gone for one week.

Thank you Mashable for providing us with this information.

Torrent Traffic Remains the Same, Despite The Pirate Bay Closure

The Pirate Bay has been offline for four days after Swedish police raided its servers, but that doesn’t seem to have made any kind of dent in the number of illegal downloads. According to anti-piracy firm Excipio, torrent traffic is now at the same rate as it was just before The Pirate Bay closed.

On 8th December, 101.5 million IP addresses were recorded as downloading torrents of all kinds, including video, audio, games, and software. On 9th December, the date of the raid on The Pirate Bay, that traffic dropped to 99 million IPs. Over the following two days it dipped to a low of 95 million. But, by Friday, 12th December, torrent traffic had hit 100.2 million, just above the daily average of 99.9 million, recorded since 1st November this year.

It seems that the other established torrent sites, such as Kickass Torrents and isoHunt have picked up former Pirate Bay users. Torrenters have not deterred, just redirected.

Source: Yahoo

List of Blocked Torrent Sites in the UK Doubles

The High Court has ruled that 53 torrent websites be prohibited by UK Internet Service Providers, in the largest mass blocking yet. The list of sites include BitSoup, IP Torrents, Isohunt, Sumotorrent, Torrentdb, Torrentfunk, Torrentz, Warez BB, and Rapid Moviez. The Motion Picture Association (MPA) is responsible for submitting 32 of the requests.

The ISPs obliged to comply with the order are Sky, BT, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2, and Virgin.

Chris Marcich, president of the MPA’s European division, said, “Securing court orders requiring ISPs to block access to illegal websites is an accepted and legitimate measure to tackle online copyright infringement.”

According to Ernesto Van Der Sar, editor of Torrentfreak, the move will deter very few from accessing their favourite torrent site, explaining, “It deters a few people who can’t access their usual sites, but most people will try to find ones that are not yet blocked or use VPNs or proxy sites to get the same content.”

Source: BBC

IsoHunt Brought Back From The Dead, New Spin-Off Created

Earlier this month torrent indexing site IsoHunt was forced to shut down after its owned Gary Fung faced a lawsuit from the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) which ended up with him having to pay them $110 million in compensation. Of course Gary Fung is unable to pay that kind of sum and wouldn’t do so even if he did have the money, hence why IsoHunt had to shut down instead. Now a few weeks later TorrentFreak reports that IsoHunt has been resurrected by a different group of people under a new domain of isohunt.to not isohunt.com. The new “spin-off” is apparently in no way associated with the old IsoHunt but it has been designed to pretty much imitate it.

“ArchiveTeam” were believed to be behind a move to revive IsoHunt and they went to extensive efforts to try and back up the site before it was taken offline. On hearing of ArchiveTeam’s attempts to backup and essentially “copy” IsoHunt, owner Gary Fung took the site offline early to prevent it. This means that the new IsoHunt is actually in no way associated with ArchiveTeam or the old IsoHunt operators. The new IsoHunt is operated by a third party team who say that preserving the cultural icon of Isohunt is what matters to them.

“IsoHunt has been a great part of the torrent world for more than a decade. It’s a big loss to everyone who used it over the years. Media corporations don’t like innovative or competition and isoHunt’s fate is one of the examples of how they deal with it…IsoHunt can definitely be called a file-sharing icon. People got used to it and they don’t want to simply let it go. We want those people to feel like being at home while visiting isohunt.to. The main goal is to restore the website with torrents and provide users with the same familiar interface.”

Whether you believe their justification about preserving a cultural icon to be true, or whether you just think they are looking to make a quick buck off someone else’s hard work, they are still seeking to create an IsoHunt imitiation or replacement service. The new operators of isohunt.to say that 75% of the old isohunt.com database has been restored, whether former isohunt.com users warm to the new domain and website layout is another matter.

Image courtesy of Isohunt.to

isoHunt.com Is Shutting Down

isoHunt is finally shutting down after seven years of lawsuits. The website is not being shutdown because of Government forcing, but rather a settlement offer that Gary Fung has agreed to on top of a $110,000,000, yes, One Hundred and Ten Million Dollar! Hollywood’s major movie studios sued isoHunt in 2006 and won its battle earlier this year. Hollywood’s major movie studios claimed that the site was promoting copyright infringement, and the 9th Circuit Cord of Appeals sided with them.

isoHunt is, or I should say was one of the most popular torrent sites available on the internet. With every site that goes down, multiple new sites come to light. Though I do not feel that torrenting kills different industries such as music, and videos, video games, or software. Long, long ago I would use Hotline to download music, but I wasn’t just downloading thousands of songs, movies and software titles. If I found something I liked, I would purchase the product. I have an extensive DVD collection, my CD collection includes well over 1,000 titles, I have a very large game collection, and I do not have one piece of pirated music, movie or software. In fact,many of the movies, artists and software titles that I have, I likely never would have purchased if I did not have access to the internet to preview them.

Today Gary Fung opened a new website which is simple WordPress site with only one posting:

“It’s sad to see my baby go. But I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. 10.5 years of isoHunt has been a long journey by any business definition, and forever in Internet startup time. It started as a programming hobby in my university days that has become so, so much more. It’s been a learning experience beyond what I imagined. I’ve done the best I could push the social benefits of BitTorrent and file sharing, the searching and sharing of culture itself, but it’s time for me to move on to new software ideas and projects.

There’s so much I want to write about. Some I want to take time writing about, some I can’t talk about. Since someone from Hollywood got the news out of our pending shutdown already, I just want to get a bit of my side of the story out with this post.

FYI, this is the last part of our lawsuit I haven’t talked about yet. Our SCOTUS petition.

I’m working on new projects, so this is not a good bye, but announcing a new beginning for yours truly. You’ll be hearing from me soon. Stay in touch with me on garyfung.ca.”

Earlier this year, it seemed that Fung had some other ideas for isoHunt, unfortunately he will no longer be able to use the site address… I am sure he will be bringing us some interesting things in the future though!

“For the next 10 years, I’m imagining a reboot of isoHunt. From a mostly passive search engine, to a new system where you the consumer can be active participants in bringing creators on board, and you can frictionlessly contribute to the creators.”

What are your thoughts on torrenting? Did you use isoHunt, if so, which service will you use now?

Thank you Gigaom for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of UserLogos.org

Greek Anti-Piracy Group Targeting Major Torrent Website ISP Blocks

Anti-piracy groups in Greece are targeting major torrent websites for ISP level blocks. The requests that were filed are against some of the biggest torrent websites in the business including KickAssTorrents, isoHunt, 1337X and H33T. AEPI, the Greek Society for the Protection of Intellectual Property, is requesting that all ISPs operating in Greece block the previously mentioned sites. Several other Greek based domains are also being targeted such as: Greek.to, Greek-team.cc, P2Planet.net, Tsibato.info, GreekDDL.eu and Greek-Best.com.

According to the speculation the Pirate Bay will also be targeted at some point in the near future too, meaning they will have been kicked out of Norway and Greece in quick succession. This latest move by Greece’s AEPI is just the latest in a growing trend across Europe that is seeing torrent sites getting blocked left, right and centre. The UK has been prolific in blocking torrent sites recently, KickAssTorents was one of those recently blocked while just last month Italy blocked 27 torrent domains.

What are your thoughts on this latest development in Greece?

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