Just two weeks after the long running and incredibly popular BitTorrent indexing website IsoHunt threw in the towel in its legal battle against the MPAA and shut down, fans of IsoHunt have resurrected the look and feel of the original.
Now available at isohunt.to, this copycat website (which to be clear has nothing to do with the original isohunt.com) aims to exactly mimic the much loved original. The team behind the new project explained their reasons to TorrentFreak,
‘IsoHunt has been a great part of the torrent world for more than a decade. It’s a big loss to everyone who used it over the years. Media corporations don’t like innovative or competition and isoHunt’s fate is one of the examples of how they deal with it. IsoHunt can definitely be called a file-sharing icon. People got used to it and they don’t want to simply let it go. We want those people to feel like being at home while visiting isohunt.to. The main goal is to restore the website with torrents and provide users with the same familiar interface.’
We had a look around isohunt.to, and it appears to exactly replicate, both the look of IsoHunt, and the database of torrent links (which all appear to be working just fine).
We certainly think this is a new twist in the on-going game of whack-a-mole played out between the MPAA (and other copyright enforcement bodies) and torrent fans, where every time a BitTorrent tracking site is forced to close down, another opens. In this case the MPAA closed down a tracking site, and an almost identical one opened!
Perhaps even more interesting, this is not the first attempt to resurrect IsoHunt. Gary Fung, IsoHunt founder, agreed to pay a ridiculous $110 million damages to the MPAA this month, and planned to close the website on October 23. However, it seems that a team called ArchiveTeam, clearly not learning from the ‘lesson’ the MPAA was trying to make with such extortionate damages, intended to archive IsoHunt before it closed, so it could be kept for posterity.
Fung blocked this attempt by closing IsoHunt down earlier than intended, but acknowledged that ‘95% of those .torrent files can be found Google regardless, and mostly have been indexed from other BitTorrent sites in the first place’. In fact, the entire database of IsoHunt torrents are backed up by torrent cache sites such as Zoink and Torrage, which is presumably how isohunt.to has managed to resurrect the site. However, the new site does not have all the ‘all other metadata and comments’ from the old IsoHunt.com.
As regards those ridiculously large damages – which Fung obviously cannot begin to afford to pay – they are intended to send a powerful warning message to would-be copyright infringers. However it would seem, at least in this case, that the message fell on very deaf ears!