tgignac writes: isoHunt Shut Down January 16, 2007 Thomas Mennecke isoHunt has been one of the long time staples of the BitTorrent/IRC/Usenet search engine genre. It's longevity has been exceptional among this crowd, lasting upwards of three years without hindrance. This is no small feat considering the site's administrator, Gary Fung, is the recipient of an MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) lawsuit which was filed in February of 2006. The eventual legal complaint was preceded by several email exchanges between Fung and the MPAA. isoHunt and the MPAA engaged in what could be considered an amicable debate on the merits of copyright laws in the digital age, however the movie industry's patience wore out once it was clear Fung's position was solidified. On February 23rd, 2006, the MPAA filed seven lawsuits that included nine sites; including ed2k-it.com, BinNewz.com, and of course isoHunt.com "Website operators who abuse technology to facilitate infringements of copyrighted works by millions of people are not anonymous — they can and will be stopped," said John G. Malcolm, Executive Vice President and Director of Worldwide Anti-Piracy Operations for the MPAA. "Disabling these powerful networks of illegal file distribution is a significant step in stemming the tide of piracy on the Internet." While most of these indexing sites capitulated, isoHunt.com decided to hold the line. The status quo remained intact for isoHunt.com, at least until today. File-sharing fans were not greeted by the typical search engine that resides on isoHunt.com — instead a stark message was left by Fung: "Lawyers from our primary ISP decided to pull our plug without any advance notice, as of 14:45 PST. No doubt about our lawsuit brought by the MPAA. We will be back in operation once we sort out this mess with our ISP, or we get new hardware ready from another ISP (already working on that)." Gary Fung told Slyck.com a temporary site is already up, however the traffic load is placing an exceptional burden on the server. This should be a temporary setback however, as Fung is working diligently to restore the site. With some patience and luck, isoHunt.com could be restored by morning. The amount of time will depend whether isoHunt.com's current ISP restores the site, or whether Fung will have to shop elsewhere for hosting.