Isohunt's decade and-a-bit long career as one of the world's paramount torrent search sites has come to an end and the site's owner and founder, Gary Fung, has initiated the self-destruct sequence, shutting the site down a couple of days before his original court settlement decreed.
It was just last week that the seven year battle for Isohunt's future came to a close. Fung and his lawyers have been in court rooms with the MPAA and other media lobby organisations for that long, arguing that torrent sites aren't just about piracy: they're a platform of content sharing that many people have used as promotional tools or as ways to make sure fans get access to their material.
We don't know what the final nail in Isohunt's coffin was, or what thumbscrew twist finally made Fung capitulate and settle for a $110 million payout and a cease and desist for Isohunt's operation, but we do know that his send off for the site has a sweet new trailer for Terminator Salvation.
His address to fans is one of humble appreciation of the people that have used the site and those that consider it a cultural phenomenon in its own right.
“This is it. We are shutting down isoHunt services a little early,” begins the statement over at Isohunt.com. “I'm told there was this Internet archival team that wants to make historical copy of our .torrent files, I'm honoured that people thinks our site is worthy of historical preservation, but the truth is about 95% of those .torrent files can be found off Google regardless and mostly have been indexed from other BitTorrent sites in the first place. So I might as well do a proper send-off to you dear isoHunt users, before final shutdown sequence on Tuesday. It's been an adventure in the last 10.5 years working on isoHunt, a privilege working with some of the smartest guys I've worked with, and my life won't be the same without it. For what I'm working on next, please look up my blog on Google and follow me there. Because as the Terminator would say with a German accent,
“I'll be backkk.”
He made a similar note over on his new blog – which will presumably won't be closing down with Isohunt – though in that instance, praising forum moderators and other contributors, giving them much higher billing than himself in the site's credits.
“For the first year or 2 since its inception in Jan. 2003, isoHunt.com was my hobby. But it certainly couldn’t be the world-class search engine it is today without these awesome staff at isoHunt Inc. that made it possible. Some of us will be unemployed soon, and would appreciate a new job worthy of our talents.”
Those names are then listed with contact details, making the whole situation seem even sadder. Not only are fans losing a community they've been part of for as long as a decade and a man isn't just losing his pet project and livelihood, but staff are out on their asses too. If you're looking for new talent for your peer-to-peer startup, these guys probably aren't a bad place to start looking.
We already did a little send off of our own to Isohunt, with the typical Rimmer salute video. In our mind there's no better way to send someone off into the murky black of job hunting , but if you have something you want to say to Mr Fung or the guys who helped run Isohunt for over a decade, you can get in touch via the official Facebook, or on either of Fung's social networking accounts here and here.
I'm sure he'd appreciate it.
KitGuru Says: What else is there to say? Fung has championed fair compensation to artists for years, right alongside the freedom for consumers to do what they do best (consume) in a manner that's simple, fair and open. Here's hoping Fung and Isohunt go down as martyrs and not forgotten idealists.