Proof: My comment on reddit is linked from, and

AMAA within legal limits of what I can say. Discussion on reddit has been interesting and I sure like to see more on where new Internet technologies around sharing collide with copyright and constitutional law.

Don't ask numbers on our finances, and I may answer similar questions only once. I'll try to answer all good questions eventually.

Comments: 1026 • Responses: 45  • Date: 

itsCarraldo587 karma

Your site took my torrent virginity back in the day.

isoHunt511 karma

Good times, matey.

A-punk322 karma

If you win you and every person in high management should create a music album to raise money for the struggling record companies.

The songs being your own covers of every single top selling track from each record company that sued you. And you should sell it for a penny.

isoHunt209 karma

Hah, poetic justice

greg0ry264 karma

How do you see compared Rivals? Partners?

isoHunt429 karma

Both. I'm not for their antics for utter disregard of copyright (, we follow the DMCA. But I respect much of the policies of the Pirate Parties, and their recent book advocating shortening of copyright terms and sane copyright law reform, but not abolishment.

And as a search engine, we index .torrent links from hundreds of websites, including TPB. We don't discriminate websites regardless of politics as .torrent links are user generated from across the Web.

sadfacewhenputdown220 karma

Do you see yourself as a likeable outlaw evading an evil empire, or more of a morally ambiguous dark shadow gangster type...with a heart of gold?

isoHunt515 karma

Aren't they the same thing? How about a reluctant revolutionary trying to tell the amoral empire to wake up

pieandablowie174 karma

Dear Gary,

I'm overwhelmed by having this opportunity to express how much I love what you do, and have done to engage my general love of entertainment. Your site has been my go-to for years and I've always loved how it works so beautifully and unassumingly well. Here's to you! I'm eternally in your debt.

itmakesnosenseanymor65 karma

Seconded by a not-so-emotional-yet-grateful woman.

Thank you !

isoHunt141 karma

/group hug

Pregnenolone155 karma

Do you think that the future is bright for file sharing? Or in other words, how long do you think the crusade against file sharing will last for?

Edit: I accidentally an extra word.

isoHunt374 karma

As long as the uncensored and unrestricted Internet exists.

downvoteme4sex140 karma

would you ever steal a car, handbag, television or movie?

isoHunt141 karma

no (I wouldn't), no, (I wouldn't), no (no one can), no (no one can)

isoHunt132 karma

I'm going to sleep, dear Internet mob. I'll answer more questions later.

malnourish127 karma

If you could update, revamp, or otherwise change the torrent protocol what would you like to see?

Is torrenting the final step in peer to peer file sharing?
Do you think it is possible or worthwhile to change the denotation of torrenting with piracy?

How detailed are your logs and how do you curate and or control the torrents listed?

isoHunt215 karma

  • P2P streaming ability. BitTorrent Inc. is working on that
  • It's final in its openness. It's an open protocol, just like the WWW and history shows open protocols tend to stick around. It can evolve, new clients can implement new ideas, and that's what an open protocol allows. No prior P2P network since Napster is like it in its openness and that is what lasts beyond technical implementations.
  • Possible yes, easy no. I believe its "stigma" would change when more creators find new ways to take advantage of media sharing on the Internet, and new ways to monetize, directly or not. I'm always considering new possibilities.
  • We keep logs only for detecting suspicious network activity and bad bots, in aggregate. We don't curate or moderate any torrent, I don't believe that's the job of any search engine. Algorithmic ranking of search results yes but not curation, at least not by us. We have user votes on torrents similar to reddit and that factors into our ranking so you can call it communal curation.

unregisteredusr121 karma

How do you stay afloat despite the legal threats? Do you have a large legal staff?

isoHunt240 karma

We have lawyers in both Canada and the US genuinely excited about what our 2 cases mean, as our case is complicated but precedent setting. Having big cases is somewhat a good thing it turns out. We also have some academic support, and will especially need more with our Canadian case arguing the constitutional issues.

Mr_Sticky89 karma

Hey Gary. I interviewed you a few years ago for an academic thesis about copyright and culture. I don't know if its of any interest to you, but its here now. Cheers man, and good luck.

isoHunt3 karma


TheChamp415111 karma

What is the worst threat you have received?

isoHunt215 karma

Notice to take down some torrents from MS, just because they were the first (in 2004 I believe). We get all sorts of requests since then and one isn't really worse than another until Hollywood actually sued.

a78523668 karma

What is your general legal argument in the cases? What do you think are the important legal similarities/differences to cases like Napster and Megavideo? What precedents are you using to support your case?

isoHunt102 karma is already a good summary of arguments we've made previously in our US case.

Napster and Megavideo are networks into themselves, and/or host actual copyrighted content. isoHunt is a search engine of links on a pre-existing network (WWW).

Sony Betamax is a good precedent that copyright should not trump technological progress. For copyright, search engines and freedom of expression/constitutional issues specifically, there is no precedent we know of.

TootsMcAnus39 karma

Sony Betamax is great precedent for you, but (obviously) be careful... remember Grokster. I'm not saying to remember Grokster in the sense that you guys promote infringement the way they did (you don't), but I'm saying remember Grokster because the courts used a previously unheard of (and absurd) premise for their holding (why on earth should you be guilty of infringement simply because you promote a service that can be used for infringement? nothing like that is in Title 17, as far as I can tell). My point is, the courts can and may find an absurd rationale to reach an unfavorable holding for you - they've done it before. Make sure your lawyers are diligent in preparing for counter-arguments that may seem absurd on their face. Courts in internet copyright cases seem to not be above legislating from the bench.

isoHunt20 karma

Yup, Grokster was an unfortunate blemish on the good ol Sony Betamax. Much ink is being spent on "intention".

HalpTheFan61 karma

  • 5 Favourite albums and movies?
  • Do you watch Community?
  • Is there anyway you can fix it so when I click to open a torrent in a new tab, the original tab doesnt go directly to the same torrent? Also thank you for being awesome

isoHunt115 karma

  • Laputa soundtrack (all the ones by Jo Hisaishi really), Mirrorball (Mclachlan), Shawshank redemption, Matrix, Contact
  • No
  • Will see about that. Seems to be Chrome specific bug

malnourish57 karma

Where do you see the copyright industry going if your suit is successful?
What do you think about software patents?
Why did you found isoHunt?
How do you foresee isoHunt evolving to the response and consequences of the case?
How big is the team you work with? Is there a physical office?

isoHunt99 karma

  • Work with us. If you can't fight them, join them. Monetize sharing activity already there. At least that's what I want to see. It worked for the VCR.
  • Software patents are 99% frivolous and does more harm than good. They should die.
  • Programming hobby when I was in university
  • Other than more court ordered censorship, I don't know.
  • 5 of us and no office, we aren't all in the same city/country

bullcocks47 karma

Have you met the people who run piratebay?

isoHunt120 karma

who are the ninjas that run tpb? =b

brutal_chaos47 karma


isoHunt34 karma


Darkstrategy45 karma

What type of resources do you have at your disposal to oppose issues such as ACTA/CISPA, etc?

isoHunt145 karma

You. We are legion. (not that I'm endorsing a certain hacker collective)

[deleted]33 karma


isoHunt59 karma

  1. More. Quantcast is conservative
  2. 9 web servers (Lighttpd and PHP), 5 databases (Mysql), 5 fulltext searchers (Lucene), Memcached for caching on each web server. All spread between 2 colos, in Canada and Sweden. All run Linux of course (Gentoo)
  3. Mysql. It's a PITA. Everything else is relatively easy to scale horizontally.

TheUnknownFactor32 karma

Are you receiving any notable help from outside parties in your lawsuits? IE; people hoping for favorable precedent?

isoHunt82 karma

Google came and backstabbed us (mostly). We certainly welcome better interveners/amicus.

isoHunt122 karma

No, they filed an amicus in our case, pretending they are helping us before filing it. They basically said we shouldn't qualify for the DMCA safe harbor because we are a "pirate site". Perhaps they got annoyed by our comparison with Google and statistical analysis showing over 95% overlap that all torrents searchable on isohunt (based on info_hashes) are also searchable on Google (and Yahoo). I don't have their amicus on hand, it is on public dockets in the online database of the Ninth Circuit court of Appeals (US).

Google is the new MS. They should get some antitrust probes up their behind.

zell29832 karma

Do you think you will win your current legal case?

isoHunt86 karma

We are certainly trying

quiettime65 karma

Don't despair, I successfully sued the Canadian Government on the grounds of slavery. Keep in touch with the players in legal academia and you'll be fine. You may even score some legal-groupie pussy (yes, it's a thing).

isoHunt33 karma

We haven't sued the government, just inviting them to the party.

Define "legal-groupie pussy"?

soul_hacker31 karma

  1. What do you think of Kim Dotcom?

  2. What do you think was his biggest mistake and what do you plan to do to avoid those mistakes?

  3. Do you think a actual profitable business model could ever arise from torrents and P2P? If so, are you working on it?

isoHunt54 karma

  1. Interesting showman. I want to see what actual evidence they have if any, on charging him with racketeering and money laundering. Those are what makes a big criminal case, not mere copyright.
  2. Paying uploaders
  3. I'm still looking for it. The Internet and law is evolving, so what wasn't possible before maybe possible later.

FreshAutomaton31 karma

You are unfortunately not standing on the shoulders of giants (rather the giants are trying to stand on you), and I commend you for how well you've done so far.

Is there any way to donate for your legal battle?

isoHunt51 karma

Thanks, but we aren't really collecting donations right now. That may change as our case requires.

candescent23 karma

Are you scared about ending up in prison or financially ruined?

isoHunt41 karma


zgalliett22 karma

What do you see in the future of the internet? What will be the next big thing? Will websites like yours ever die?

Also, can you explain how your website affects the movie, music, and software business in a positive way?

isoHunt52 karma

The internet is fundamentally made for sharing. Facebook is the darling of the Net right now and that's all about sharing. Anything new I can dream of would be about connecting people with information. For isoHunt, who knows. But it's over 9 years old and I certainly like it to stick around.

zgalliett20 karma

What changes would you like to see(to all industries that pirating affects), realistically, that would make a website like isohunt no longer controversial or needed?

isoHunt116 karma

  1. Worldwide simultaneous release, buying and streaming/downloading at a better than physical retail price, and no DRM
  2. Use isoHunt and other sharing sites as promotional networks
  3. ??
  4. Profit!

[deleted]19 karma


isoHunt34 karma

Among top 200 websites on the internet, no. It got bigger than what I expect. I won't talk numbers on our finances, I've updated in my OP ;)

Nuhaus11 karma

I respect the fact that you can't tell us about your finances because of the legal problems you're currently facing but I still am wondering how much money a site like isoHunt is pulling in. Can you at least tell us if you're breaking even? How much of your time goes to isoHunt, is it a labour of love or a business? I use the site a lot and would be very sorry to see it go.

isoHunt27 karma

I'll say we are currently sustainable financially, and not much reason to think that's changing any time soon. Wasn't always the case historically.

tetralogy16 karma

How fast is your internet connection? Especially upload. What operating System do you use?

isoHunt34 karma

My personal connection? 2.5 mbit upload. Mac OS X.

Galactic16 karma

Have you ever met aXXo?

smokinrobocop4 karma

trick question

isoHunt4 karma

aXXo who?

Has_Recipes14 karma

What can we do to support a free internet in your opinion? Besides donating money to you and your legal battles or voicing an opinion on recent legislation (I'm in the U.S.). How do we collectivize and become a stronger community?

isoHunt32 karma

Internet communities like reddit here is certainly great. And we've seen how people use Facebook and Twitter in revolutions. The important thing is we stay on top of new attempts at censoring the free Internet and protest against it, and not after they already become law.

UpBoat42014 karma

Would you download a car?

isoHunt44 karma

Yes. Beam me up Scotty.

achshar12 karma

Are you technical or business person? if technical how much do you contribute in actually production code? and if business what are your qualifications/previous experience in management?? I know this sounds like an interview but really, i am interested to know if you don't mind :)

isoHunt38 karma

I've been working on it by myself as a hobby for a while since 2003. About 80% of isoHunt's code is still by me currently and I maintain my own soup. I am a business person in terms of finances, talking to lawyers, biz dev, etc. I wear many hats.

Qualifications? I was studying Engineering Physics. isoHunt is my qualification when it comes to business or tech.

MericaMan4Life8 karma

have you ever gotten any support from hollywood? or has any attention from them always been negative?

isoHunt20 karma

Not from Hollywood/MPAA, which I'm not including indie film makers.

orestaras8 karma

Which is better? Torrent or magnet? And why?

isoHunt22 karma

They are the same thing technically

sw1sh7 karma

Its amazing how many people dont read the "Don't ask numbers on our finances" part.

Anyway,what I wanted to ask is what happens if this suit goes bad for you guys?Everyone seems to be asking about where do you go from here,and what is the future of isoHunt etc,but what about if they rule against you? Stranger things have happened....And if so do you think it will set a precedent for other websites like your own to be taken down? What would it mean for you if it was to go down,would there be criminal consequences(not specifics,but is jail time a possibility?) If this was to go badly,what do you think the next logical step for filesharing would be?Would most other companies fold to the pressure of these corporations threatening legal action now a precedent has been set?

Sorry to come across all negative,but i'm just curious as to what could happen both ways.....

isoHunt14 karma

It's fair, I certainly think about worst case scenarios a lot. No jail time at this stage, our cases are both civil, not criminal. For file sharing? As long as you can IM/email your friends a file, it'll continue. As long as the uncensored and unrestricted Internet exists. Napster, Kazaa, Grokster, TPB, Megaupload, isoHunt, they are all whack a mole. And that's why you have stunts like SOPA.

nommedit6 karma

  • Who would you say is isoHunt's target audience? And why?

isoHunt46 karma

Every man, woman and child in the known universe.

De-Animator6 karma

Has the growing popularity of Spotify lessened music piracy? Whatchoo think about that?

isoHunt19 karma

I don't have data for or against it

bonegolem6 karma

Thanks for all you have done for us all this years, and for this AMA. You already replied to all the most interesting questions, so I'm left with asking a less interesting one.

A few days back, a redditor proposed the launch of a website permitting to offer donations to content-creating companies (such as game developers).

Donations would be meant, either overtly or at least in fact, as a compensation for unpaid downloaded contents.

Do you believe a service like this would benefit the torrenting community - either as a service allowing to bypass unacceptable business models while still compensating creators, or at least as a method to show the good will of the community?

Thank you again.

isoHunt13 karma

I was thinking something similar. The problem with something like this is how do you create an automated system and ensure reasonable authenticity that files/torrents A-E is copyrighted by author Z? It's a problem when you are sending money their way. But the idea is certainly been on my mind. Think a cross between Pinterest with Kickstarter, associating torrents/media with their creators and ways of promoting them, downloading media and paying them.

Monetizing file sharing is the holy grail, I'm just not sure how exactly it would work. More discussions on this certainly welcome and something I would support or implement.

Socuta6 karma


isoHunt12 karma

Yes, me and business that runs isoHunt is in Vancouver. Best city in the world even if the nucks lost ;)

Our Canadian case is still brewing. I'll update on and our frontpage on developments should we need your support, and thanks.

[deleted]4 karma


What is your take on copyright? How do you think an artist can get payed for his/het efforts?

edit: and a big hug ofcourse. Thanks for doing this.

isoHunt13 karma

Copyright should exist, but without the crap on protecting DRM nobody wants (neither most business or consumer) and with a more sane copyright term. Copyright started out with 14 years centuries ago, that seems to be a good number instead of life + 70 years and perpetually getting extended. A copyright registration system to identify what digital content belongs to who would be useful with cases like ours.

How an artist get paid? Live performance, merchandize, internet radio royalties and variants with collectives. The creative industries are already live and kicking, I don't see point of arguing how to rescue them. See

cz-cz-cz-czechitout4 karma

One of the things I am always curious about with gents such as yourself is how you feel about the idea of intellectual property. There are many compelling arguments for and against even the existence of intellectual property. This in particular comes to mind. Seeing that, for me personally, I find it hard to view an idea as property, how do you feel on the subject? Is intellectual property, ideas themselves, something that can be owned? Because, really, that's the core of the debate. And we can't argue the legality of something if we haven't even rrationalized its existence.

isoHunt16 karma

Ideas cannot be owned. They are by law not patentable or copyrightable. The distinction and dichotomy between idea and expression is a complicated issue however and muddied.