A Bit Torrent web site that was being used by tens of thousands of Australians to download illegal movies is set to be closed down.
IsoHunt, a Canadian site become a “pain in the backside” to organisations like Foxtel executives who lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in subscriiption fees when tens of thousands of Australian consumers illegally downloaded Game Of Thrones from BitTorrent web sites similar to SoHunt.
According to the BBC the site’s owner, Canadian Gary Fung, has agreed to pay $110m to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
MPAA chairman Chris Dodd said the move was a “major step forward” for legitimate commerce online.
In a blog post, Mr Fung said: “It’s sad to see my baby go.”
The site is currently still online, but will soon be shut. It is one of the most popular sites of its kind on the internet.
A group of companies, including Disney, Paramount and Twentieth Century Fox, accused the site of wilfully infringing copyright by listing millions of popular movies and TV programs – in a court battle that has lasted for more than seven years.
Now Mr Fung has agreed to settle. He added: “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 start-up time.
“It started as a programming hobby in my university days that has become so, so much more.”
Court documents acknowledged that it is unlikely that Mr Fung’s company could pay $110m, and that the MPAA would probably receive between $2m and $4m.