U.S. Court: Isohunt has to Shut Down

Los Angeles-based District Court judge Stephen Wilson issued a permanent injunction against the torrent indexing site Isohunt.com and its owner Garry Fung yesterday, giving Fung pretty much no choice but to shut down Isohunt or make it otherwise inaccessible for U.S.-based file sharers.

Vid-Biz: NBC Sports, Skype, isoHunt

Change Up At NBC Sports Digital, as Miller Shifts To Universal Sports; NBC Sports has rewritten its digital org chart, shifting Perkins Miller to COO of Universal Sports; meanwhile, Kevin Monaghan, SVP of Business Development, adds the Managing Director of NBC Sports Digital Media title, while Rick Cordella is promoted to VP/GM, NBC Sports Digital. (paidContent)

Skype Updates for iPad; Skype updated its iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad app today to 1.3.1, but hasn’t added 3G capabilities or Push notifications. (9to5Mac)

isoHunt Redirects US Visitors to Lite Version; following legal pressure brought by the MPAA, BitTorrent search engine isoHunt has decided to redirect all visitors from the United States to a Lite version of the site. (TorrentFreak)

Opponents Rally Against Ofcom’s Pay TV Ruling; BSkyB is squaring up to a legal battle with UK television regulator Ofcom over a new ruling that the pay-TV operator must make its channels available to rivals at lower prices. (Tech Watch)

ESPN Takes Premier League Mobile Highlights From BSkyB; ESPN has taken the mobile highlights rights to all 380 of England’s top-tier soccer matches from Sky, beginning from the 2010/11 season’s start, this coming August. (paidContent)

Digital Economy Bill Debated Today; the U.K. Parliament debated the controversial Digital Economy Bill today, giving the bill a second reading. (Tech Watch)

Vid-Biz: Hulu, Isohunt, Next New Networks

Hulu Goes to the Movies (That You’ve Never Heard Of); Yesterday marked the first time a “feature film” appeared on Hulu before running anywhere else, but only because In The Darkness is hardly a feature film. (MediaMemo)

Isohunt Ordered to Remove Infringing Content; a U.S. judge is ordering Isohunt to remove all infringing content, which could cause it to shut down. (Wired)

Next New Networks Acquires Seven Series in Revenue-Sharing Deal; the shows include the “Tamra Davis Cooking Show,” Rossella Rago’s “Cooking with Nonna,” Julian Jackson’s “JR SportBrief,” Brian Barcyk’s “Snake Bytes TV,” and a yet-to-be-named animated series from the makers of “Landline TV.” (ClickZ)

MeFeedia Adds HTML5 Ad Support; the All Player for HTML5 is designed to deliver consistent, high-quality video ads across any screen –- including Web, Internet-connected TV platforms and mobile devices. (MeFeedia blog)

EPIX Gains Traction With ‘TV Everywhere’ Model; with upcoming launches with Charter, Cox and Mediacom, new premium network EPIX has culled some early traction with its multi-platform distribution strategy. (Light Reading Cable)

BBC Online Video News Views Up 25 Percent in Four Months; the BBC has found a growing audience for online news in the U.K., with some 5 million unique visitors watching 28 million videos in January, according to the latest numbers from comScore. (Beet.TV)

SeaChange To Serve Up Web Video; SeaChange International has developed a video-on-demand server — dubbed the Universal Media Streamer — that serves traditional VOD as well as Web and mobile video formats. (Multichannel News)

U.S. Households Using PCs and Game Consoles to Extend Online Video to the TV; research firm Parks Associates found consumer interest in Web-on-TV applications is so strong that households are making their own connections via PCs and game consoles. (press release)

California Court Sides with Hollywood Studios in isoHunt Case

A group of Hollywood studios, including Disney (s DIS), Twentieth Century Fox (s NWS), Universal (s GE), Warner Bros (s TWX) and others in September 2006 brought a case against Canada-based torrent search site isoHunt and its owner, Gary Fung, alleging that they enabled and encouraged wide-scale copyright infringement. Well, earlier this week, a federal judge in California sided with the studios, issuing a summary judgment against Fung and his web sites.

It’s unclear whether isoHunt will appeal the decision, but for now the site is still up and running. In the meantime, though, the judgment is bad news for other torrent tracking and indexing sites. That’s because even though they might not host files themselves, by linking to Hollywood movies and TV shows, they — like isoHunt — could be found guilty of inducing users to infringe on copyrighted material.

And infringe isoHunt’s users did: according to one expert called, approximately 90 percent of all files linked to on the site, and 94 percent of all files downloaded, were found to be “copyrighted or highly likely copyrighted.” While the defendants attempted to dismiss the statistical sampling used, the court pointed to similar sampling used in other cases, including MGM Studios v. Grokster and A & M Records v. Napster. Furthermore, Judge Stephen Wilson wrote, “for the purposes of this case, the precise percentage of infringement is irrelevant: the evidence clearly shows that Defendants’ users infringed on a significant scale.”

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Hexagon.cc Turns BitTorrent Into a Community Playground

hexagonccThe people behind the popular BitTorrent site Isohunt.com launched a new community portal this week called Hexagon.cc that’s aimed at making BitTorrent more social by allowing groups of users to share and discuss content. The site also allows for the embedding of videos from YouTube, Video or Blip, and utilizes semantic web resources to catalog content — a first in the BitTorrent world.
Hexagon.cc is still in private beta, but invites have been made available by the thousands since it opened its doors earlier this week. The project is definitely interesting, and has the potential to become a viable competitor to many private torrent sites.
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