British Columbia-based torrent site isoHunt has been handed a huge blow, having lost a summary judgment in a California court battle with the Motion Picture Association of America.

isoHunt, which is run by Richmond, BC-resident Gary Fung, had argued that its site did not host any content and therefore did not infringe on copyrights of intellectual property holders, including entertainment companies in the music and movie business. The MPAA launched the case in 2006. isoHunt is considered one of the largest remaining torrent aggregation sites on the Web.

Defendant Fung maintains and operates a number of websites, including www.isohunt.com, www.torrentbox.com, www.podtropolis.com, and www.ed2k-it.com.

Judge Stephen Wilson chastised Fung and isoHunt in his written decision that was released today, saying “the undisputed evidence shows that Defendants (both Fung and the websites) engaged in purposeful, culpable expression and conduct aimed at promoting infringing uses of the websites.”

Judge Wilson added that while the defendants argued there was no evidence of infringing activity involving the sites, that argument could not be substantiated.

"The defendants’ 'ostrich-like refusal to discover the extent to which its system was being used to infringe copyright is merely another piece of evidence' of Defendants’ purposeful, culpable conduct in inducing third party infringement," he wrote, referencing the plaintiffs' counter-argument.

An e-mail to Fung was not immediately returned.

The judgment is the latest blow to torrent sites, which have been battered in the courts in recent years. Earlier this year, the founders of Swedish torrent site Pirate Bay were found guilty of copyright infringement, while American torrent site Torrentspy lost a 2008 case and was forced to close.

Having been found liable of infringement, the isoHunt case will now turn to establishing damages. In the Torrentspy case, a California judge awarded the MPAA $110-million in damages, and MPAA lawyers have said isoHunt’s infringement is larger and warrants a higher penalty. MPAA lawyer Stephen Fabrizio told Billboard earlier this year that Fung’s status as a Canadian citizen would not hinder the agency’s ability to collect a judgment in the case.