Free at last from 2 lawsuits! Moving On

Hello World. I’m Gary, aka. IH, founder of The internet’s first search engine for BitTorrent since 2003.

Copyfight (nice book)
Freedom after the shit

In my time with isoHunt for 11 years, I’ve fought 2 lawsuits. One from Hollywood studios in the US and one from CRIA (Canadian Recording Industry Ass.), aka. Music Canada. During this time, up to isoHunt’s shutdown in 2013, I promised that I’d protect isoHunt users’ rights and privacy in not disclosing any user data such as email and IP addresses in legal discovery from plaintiffs, which might be used for trolling and extortion.

After 10 years (2006–2016), I’m happy to announce the end of isoHunt’s and my lawsuits — as seen on our consent orders at the Supreme Court of BC, just jointly filed with CRIA. I can proudly conclude that I’ve kept my word regarding users’ privacy above. To isoHunt’s avid users, it’s worth repeating since I shutdown isoHunt in 2013, that you have my sincerest thanks for your continued support. Me and my staff could not have done it for more than 10 years without you, and that’s an eternity in internet time. It was an interesting and challenging journey for me to say the least, and the most profound business learning experience I could not expect.

I want to thank my lawyers who have defended me through these years. Ira Rothken, my counsel on the US MPAA case — and Arthur Grant, my counsel on the Canadian CRIA case. I wouldn’t have survived without you.

And I want to congratulate both Hollywood and CRIA on their victories, in letting me off with fines of $110m and $66m, respectively. Thank you! Here’s to progress, and me leaving my life of one innovative hobby to… something else? As I’ve realized through the years, there are many industries to disrupt with internet software besides the media industry.

To that end, I’d like to present to you my next idea I’m working on after isoHunt:

AAG! (App to Automate Googling)

My passion has and always will be in technology, in how it can transform the way we work, learn, eat, live, communicate and be entertained. As “googling” became as common a verb as kleenex has become synonymous to tissues, I don’t need to sell you how world changing the internet and search is, in disseminating knowledge, ideas and culture.

And yet, with the rise of smartphones becoming the dominant computing device in terms of time spent, I see doing non-trivial search on mobile devices slow and tedious.

A non-trivial search is what I’d define from here on as any search for which you can’t find a quick answer within the top 3 results.
Googling in desktop browsers is hard work as it is. Googling on mobile is much harder.

I find myself long-pressing links to open new browser tabs in background, while I go back and forth in browser histories referencing bits of information to collate an answer to my questions. True AI like the Star Trek computer carries the promise of machine-learning computers which gather, understand and cross-reference networked information, so our questions can be directly answered, succinctly and insightfully. But AI isn’t there yet. The signal to noise ratio can be low for more opinionated searches in topics such as researching your vacation, or what is the EU.

Currently, switching browser tabs in desktop and (perhaps) tablet browsers is a lot faster than on smartphones, but the back and forth process isn’t any less tedious or inefficient.

I feel that the current search experience on mobile devices is often broken for anything non-trivial. Stats have shown that smartphone users generally don’t bother searching or browsing the Web much at all, perhaps because many websites aren’t designed for mobile? Do you spend most of your smartphone time inside apps, tailored for specific usage or industry? Would you or do you already use a mobile app designed for searching and researching the Web, making the experience more streamlined and enjoyable? I want your thoughts and comments as I further develop my idea and app. If you too find the mobile search experience slow and tedious as I do (not counting trivial searches), like this post and let me know in the form below!

Click for full signup form
For exactly how my app works, I want to show, not tell. Please signup here to try my app I’m for now code naming AAG, to get an early look at what it’s about. Until I think of a better name, maybe as clever as isoHunt.

P.S. This is my first post on Medium. I’m fond of its UI design with side-notes and the writing format. I plan on getting back to writing more since my hiatus after I shutdown isoHunt and its frontpage, which has been more or less my blog.

Disclaimer: Beware of my hidden sarcasm from time to time. I’ve been told it’s often not as obvious as I thought.

For reporters and media inquiries, you can find me on Twitter and Facebook, or shoot me an email to the first letter of my first name + four letters of my last name, at