The creator and owner of IsoHunt, Gary Fung, is treading lightly in cyberspace with his newer, “lite” version of IsoHunt, which he says will still allow users to find the torrents they’re looking for, complete with relevant information, but that the site now has a .hk domain and, more importantly, is deliberately configured to look more like Google or Yahoo, search engines which haven’t really been called out in file-sharing lawsuits despite the fact that they can be used to call up much of the same copyright-infringing information as torrent search engines like IsoHunt.
Fung figure it all out to keep you folks who snatch pirate software applications, movies and just about anything available for download with access to the Internet, a mouse and a computer operating under a new url. Dude has skills!:
From Fung’s announcement to visitors to the new IsoHunt:
April 5, 2010 – US users, welcome to the lighter and lightning fast isoHunt! Although we bring this new search engine to you with a burden from the lawsuit brought by the MPAA, we hope you understand the reason why we are making this change. It is to address concerns Judge Wilson has over inducing copyright infringement in the US. Though inducement is never our intention and we have evidence to support it, with isoHunt Lite we want to affirm publicly that isoHunt’s function is nothing more than a search engine with all the net neutrality it affords and should be afforded.
Despite rumors that we are ordered to keyword filter for US, there’s only a proposed order, no actual order. Freedom of speech, non-infringing use and technical implementability issues are still being debated in further court briefs. We have not done any keyword filtering and is fighting all we can not to, because we believe search terms are ambiguous by nature, and any requirement to keyword filter is a violation of freedom of speech and amounts to no less than censorship. There is much non-infringing uses of BitTorrent technology and we hope you will be able to continue to use isoHunt for these uses, free of constraints by large holes in the english dictionary because your search triggered a keyword in a title of one of the million movies that have been produced.
Why would you still use isoHunt you ask now that it’s just like Google and Yahoo and you can search for torrents with those? While we won’t dispute there’s fundamental difference, on isoHunt Lite you get ranking by seeds/leechers and ratings besides search relevancy and age. A general search engine also do not group as one for identical torrents spread on multiple websites on the Web. Your continued use of isoHunt will also support our upcoming appeal against the MPAA, and we thank you in advance.
To protest the possibility we may be required by US law in upcoming injunction to keyword filter for US users, we have redirected isohunt.com to isohunt.hk to demonstrate the similarity to certain other popular search engine also required to censor in China. Requiring any internet search engine to filter broad keyword searches is absurd. The DMCA mandates with reason that copyright notice and takedown requested by copyright holders be done under penalty of perjury with accurate identifcation, with standard practice of URLs, not broad mucking with the dictionary. If you want to join us in protest, share this by tweet, facebook, etc. and write to Congress. Donation to organizations like the EFF will also help.
Happy April Fool’s Month, and Happy Easter.
UPDATE: for users hating not able to sort, this is one you shouldn’t care about. isoHunt Lite obviously has stripped a lot of features, sorting however uses the same “isoHunt Rank” method that’s default on regular isoHunt, and is the best sorting method as it combines multiple factors, not just by seeds or leechers. Consider the better, default ranking a feature you don’t get on other websites. Also note the Cached links at last lines of search results for a cached .torrent in case the original site is down or changed.