The long running legal battle between the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) and torrent search engine isoHunt is nearing a conclusion, with the site's owner Gary Fung agreeing to pay a settlement of $110m and with the site closing its virtual doors in the near future.
The 10 year old site is one of the largest torrent search engines around, ranked in the top 500 most visited websites on the Internet and with 13 million active torrents available to download.
The multi-year court case will finally be concluded with both sides now agreeing to this settlement deal, which will see the site shut down within 7 days. Fung will be unable to come up with the $110m that the MPAA requires, and will most likely have to declare bankruptcy - the MPAA is unlikely to see much of the $110m, if any at all.
However, the large damages figure is no accident, even though the MPAA admits that it would only take $2m to $3m to actually bankrupt isoHunt. The MPAA has wanted to make an example of Fung and isoHunt, in an effort to warn off others.
Unsurprisingly, the MPAA welcomed the deal.
"Today's settlement is a major step forward in realizing the enormous potential of the Internet as a platform for legitimate commerce and innovation," MPAA chairman Chris Dodd said via 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."
Incidentally, lawyers for isoHunt recently filed an appeal to the Supreme Court, which if successful, could see both parties renew their bitter legal struggle in court.