A U.S. federal court in California has issued a summary judgment against Canadian-based isoHunt (and its owner Gary Fung), ruling that the site violates U.S. copyright law by inducing copyright infringement. The judge ruled that the isoHunt case is little different from other U.S. cases such as Napster and Grokster, therefore concluding that there is no need to proceed to a full trial and granting Columbia Pictures request for summary judgment.
The court is dismissive of claims that differences in BitTorrent technology raises different legal issues from those addressed in the other peer-to-peer cases. Moreover, the decision includes an extensive discussion of Fung's comments regarding P2P file sharing, which proved damaging to his case. The court also notably concludes that inducement liability and the safe harbours found under the DMCA are incompatible – if you are found to have induced infringement, you cannot qualify for the safe harbour. IsoHunt will presumably appeal the U.S. decision, but it marks a resounding victory for the movie studios that launched the case.