Isohunt permanently enjoined by US court

May 21st, 2010 by Barry Sookman Leave a reply »

Yesterday, District Court Judge Stephen Wilson issued an order permanently enjoining Ishount and Gary Fung from continuing to engage in copyright infringement. The Court found an injunction necessary because the plaintiffs “have demonstrated that they have suffered irreparable harm, and would suffer further irreparable harm from Defendants’ continued infringement”.

According to the Court, “Plaintiffs’ power to control their rights has been so compromised by the means through which [Defendants] encouraged end users to infringe (digital files plus the internet) that the inducement amounts to irreparable harm.” Further, “it is axiomatic that the availability of free infringing copies of Plaintiffs’ works through Defendants’ websites irreparably undermines the growing legitimate market for consumers to purchase access to the same works.”

The Court also re-iterated its previous finding that “strongly suggests that some 2.5 million United States citizens visited Defendants’ websites each month” and that “at one point, Defendants’ websites were accessed over 50 million times from the United States in a single month.” The Court had already also found that Defendants’ “websites are used overwhelmingly for copyright infringement, with upwards of 95% of all dot-torrent files downloaded from Defendants’ websites corresponding to works that are infringing or at least highly likely to be infringing.”

The Court also based its order, among other things, on its conclusions that Isohunt was likely to continue to induce copyright infringement because it’s “very business model, at its core, depends upon copyright infringement” and it would “financially benefit from further infringement”.

The Court’s order requires Isohunt to block all access to the motion pictures and other works owned by the plaintiffs. The order specifically extends to “the conduct of Defendants wherever they may be found, including without limitation in Canada”.

The Court also clarified that the “injunction covers any acts of direct infringement, as defined in 17 U.S.C. § 106, that take place in the United States.” To the extent  “an act of reproducing, copying, distributing, performing, or displaying takes place in the United States” it is covered by the order. It thus extends to any act of uploading or downloading which takes place in the US. “Each download or upload of Plaintiffs’ copyrighted material violates Plaintiffs’ copyrights if even a single United States-based user is involved in the “swarm” process of distributing, transmitting, or receiving a portion of a computer file containing Plaintiffs’ copyrighted content.”

The full order is set out below.
Isohunt Permanent Injunction

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