Gary Fung, founder of the once-popular torrent search engine Isohunt, has reached a $66 million settlement to a lawsuit brought against him by the Canadian record industry, Billboard reports.
The terms of the settlement find Fung liable for $55 million in damages, $10 million in punitive damages, and $1 million in court fees. In addition, Fung agreed with the Supreme Court of British Columbia's finding that he infringed over two dozen Canadian and international copyrights. He must also "never be associated with any other service that makes music available without the authorization of music companies." The settlement also brings to an end a countersuit Fung launched against the labels.
Isohunt was launched in 2003, and contained a vast library of torrent files which allowed users to download pirated material such as music, movies, and video games. In 2009, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) won a lawsuit in U.S. federal court finding Isohunt liable for copyright infringement. A year later, the Canadian lawsuit was filed. In 2013, Isohunt announced its closure and was ordered to pay the MPAA $110 million in damages. However, the site was resurrected two weeks later as isohunt.to, by users unaffiliated with Fung and the original Isohunt team.
Fung wrote a statement on Medium thanking his supporters, and promising that no user data had been turned over to the authorities. "I promised that I’d protect isoHunt users’s rights and privacy in not disclosing any user data such as email and IP addresses in legal discovery from plaintiffs, which might be used for trolling and extortion... I can proudly conclude that I’ve kept my word regarding users’s privacy above." He also indicated his next project: to develop a more user-friendly mobile search engine experience.
As for Isohunt.to, its staff recently revived KickAss Torrents, another popular search engine brought offline when its alleged founder, Artem Vaulin, was arrested on July 20.