Three weeks before a copyright infringement trial was set to begin, filesharing site isoHunt has agreed to shut down and pay out $110 million in a settlement to several Hollywood studios. The deal was proposed to a federal judge in a joint filing by the defendants as well as plaintiffs Columbia, Disney, Paramount, Fox, Universal, TriStar and Warner Bros. “Today’s settlement is a major step forward in realizing the enormous potential of the Internet as a platform for legitimate commerce and innovation,” said a pleased MPAA CEO Chris Dodd, Thursday in a statement. “It also sends a strong message that those who build businesses around encouraging, enabling, and helping others to commit copyright infringement are themselves infringers, and will be held accountable for their illegal actions.” Of course, for all that, there is no real indication where isoHunt founder Gary Fung will be getting the money or if the studios will actually see any of it. The studios first sued isoHunt and iFung back in 2006 just three years after isoHunt first started. They went after the site over copyright infringement on more than 21,000 pieces of their intellectual property that they ID’d on it. it was a long drawn out affair but things had not been looking good for Fung and isoHunt after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a unanimous decision in March reaffirmed a 2009 district court ruling that the site and its founder did in fact induce its millions of users to illegally download and share movies and TV shows. A trial date was set back in August. Now it is wiped off the calendar.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.