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The Hurt Locker Producer Sues 5,000 BitTorrenters

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 99 comments

A couple of weeks back, news hit that the producer of the Hurt Locker planned to sue thousands of BitTorrent users for pirating the award-winning movie. Today we learn that Voltage Pictures has filed suit against 5,000 unidentified BitTorrent users.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia states:

"A Defendant's distribution of even one unlawful copy of a motion picture can result in the nearly instantaneous worldwide distribution of that single copy to a limitless number of people. The Plaintiff new seeks redress for this rampant infringement of their exclusive rights."

The next step will be for Voltage to subpoena ISPs for the identities behind the IP addresses used to download the movie. As was reported a couple of weeks back, 75 percent are said to have handed over the necessary information and the remainder are said to be holding back only because it's a lot of work.

As soon as individuals have been identified, they'll be sent demand letters seeking a settlement. Though there's no official word on what kind of money they'll be asked for, THR reports that similar suits have called for each person to fork out $1,500 in return for being released from liability.

If any of the 5,000 people decided to take the matter to trial and lost, they'd be looking at considerably more money as well as attorney fees.

Full story here.

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Top Comments
  • 28 Hide
    cryogenic , May 31, 2010 9:04 PM
    So these torrenting users are preventing the filthy rich media companies from becoming even richer?

    I don't recall seeing media companies compete on price, ever! I think we should sue them for price fixing and extortion.

    I don't support piracy in any way, but considering the fact that the media conglomerates have not been able to present a solution for easy online access to content over the last decade, I don't think the law suits are warranted.
  • 14 Hide
    eklipz330 , May 31, 2010 10:09 PM
    i'm a good guy, i only torrent bad movies.
  • 12 Hide
    scott91575 , May 31, 2010 11:27 PM
    If they want to sue someone, sue someone. I have no problem with that. The problem here is it's a form of extortion. They have little evidence, and I am sure some of the people are innocent. Yet they send out mass letters with a $1500 settlement. Even if you are innocent it will be cheaper to send in the cash than fight it. That is the big issue here, and those types of tactics should be illegal.
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    CoryInJapan , May 31, 2010 8:59 PM
    Or just stick to the private trackers....Orrrrr don't pirate at all.
    Not saying we dont all commit some sort of piracy.
    But it has gotten a bit out of hand these days.With everyone on broadband n such.Well most anyways.

    But twas a crappy movie.They are just looking for money for they're crap movie.Hollywood is mostly garbage now days with a good release maybe 1-2 times every 1-3 years now days.I'm comparing this decades junk to the awesomeness of the 90's on back.
  • 28 Hide
    cryogenic , May 31, 2010 9:04 PM
    So these torrenting users are preventing the filthy rich media companies from becoming even richer?

    I don't recall seeing media companies compete on price, ever! I think we should sue them for price fixing and extortion.

    I don't support piracy in any way, but considering the fact that the media conglomerates have not been able to present a solution for easy online access to content over the last decade, I don't think the law suits are warranted.
  • 3 Hide
    Christopher1 , May 31, 2010 9:08 PM
    Right in one. Peerblock has kept me from getting caught many times.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , May 31, 2010 9:17 PM
    Any insolvent privateer should represent themselves in pro per and force the MPAA to take it to trial. Then declare bankruptcy.
  • 4 Hide
    kinggraves , May 31, 2010 9:45 PM
    No matter how many oscars they buy, it won't erase the bad press that lawsuits bring. Voltage Pictures is now the guy at the party that calls the cops. No one wants to invite that guy.
  • 0 Hide
    Kryan , May 31, 2010 9:46 PM
    these 5000 people...are they only in the US? (and no, i'm not asking coz i downloaded it, i didn't...*cough*yet*cough*)

    but as far as i know most EU countries protect the end user (us paying subscribers) quite well...??
  • 8 Hide
    KingArcher , May 31, 2010 9:53 PM
    zoemayneFUCKING IMAN ADVERTISEMENT SCARED ME. LOUD SHIT BLASTED MY SPEAKERS YTF DO YOU NEED SUCH BASS ON AN ADV. Spam advertisements like that and I'll drop this website like a bad habit.


    Zoemayne, use Firefox with the addon: Adblock plus, very effective against those ads.
  • 4 Hide
    tipoo , May 31, 2010 10:02 PM
    KingArcherZoemayne, use Firefox with the addon: Adblock plus, very effective against those ads.



    Those ads are what keep Tomshardware and every other tech site alive.
  • 7 Hide
    bison88 , May 31, 2010 10:05 PM
    ...because we are all shaking in our boots. Like people were going to see the movie anyways. Most people who pirated the movie last summer never heard about it but were bored shitless because nothing was on TV and decided "Hell, why not check out another crappy war knock off" and while the acting was better it is definitely another fake of military life. You war directors need to take some notes from Steven Spielberg, at least his flick was a more realistic example of it all and the emotional baggage that goes along with it.

    Not to mention the script was stolen from a mans actual experience in which he didn't receive a dime or even a credit about by this director. Talk about pirates, way to STEAL a mans experience Hollywood. I encourage people to Google it and compare the two stories in verbatim.
  • 14 Hide
    eklipz330 , May 31, 2010 10:09 PM
    i'm a good guy, i only torrent bad movies.
  • 9 Hide
    ashkaji , May 31, 2010 10:15 PM
    I hope all 5,000 decide to fight it. Thats rediculous.
  • -7 Hide
    micr0be , May 31, 2010 10:22 PM
    torrents are bad ... they fill up your hard drive
  • 0 Hide
    Darkk , May 31, 2010 10:26 PM
    I remember when DirectTV tried to go after illegal subs only to get bad PR out of it.

    Eventually DirectTV dropped the whole thing and updated the hardware protection. It's really a scare tatic to get people to go legit.
  • 1 Hide
    edilee , May 31, 2010 10:26 PM
    CryogenicSo these torrenting users are preventing the filthy rich media companies from becoming even richer?


    These Hollywood studios are there to make money like any other business...if they didn't want to make money then they wouldn't exist. Maybe you should do what you do for a living and just give it away and make no paycheck...how does that sound? The studio that made the movie in question, and I might be mistaken, seems to me to be a smaller newer studio since I have never heard of them before and I watch TONS of movies via my Netflix membership. This is probably why they are taking this step and going after these people...I don't blame them.
  • 4 Hide
    coldmast , May 31, 2010 10:35 PM
    I'm sure a "botnet" defense argument would work, if not the Chewbacca Defense would crush the opposition.
  • -8 Hide
    Annisman , May 31, 2010 10:38 PM
    I hope each one of them have to pay the 1500$, let it be a lesson to all who want to steal.
  • 0 Hide
    millerhighlife , May 31, 2010 11:01 PM
    watched it, it sucked, just another war movie only about something more current...LAME....only I didn't torrent it, I did ya one better, I rented it for 3 bucks and invited 23 people to my basement theatre to watch it for FREE, hmmmm whats worse.. trying before buying or what I did....yes very stupid of the production of studio of QUEEFlocker to take people to court, btw bit torrent download technology is TOTALLY LEGAL, you are getting "bits" of info from simultaneous users
  • 12 Hide
    scott91575 , May 31, 2010 11:27 PM
    If they want to sue someone, sue someone. I have no problem with that. The problem here is it's a form of extortion. They have little evidence, and I am sure some of the people are innocent. Yet they send out mass letters with a $1500 settlement. Even if you are innocent it will be cheaper to send in the cash than fight it. That is the big issue here, and those types of tactics should be illegal.
  • -8 Hide
    killerclick , May 31, 2010 11:34 PM
    First off, it's an awesome movie. The professional critics agree (97% on Rotten Tomatoes), the Academy agrees (6 Oscars) and movie fans agree (7.9 on IMDB). It's not for everybody... kind of like most other masterpieces in any medium but hey, you brain dead teenagers always have Avatar.

    Second, why whine about lawsuits against illegal downloaders? If you don't want to pay for a movie then don't download it. What's your argument against that? I can understand if people don't think a movie is worth $20 or whatever, most movies aren't but why download it then?
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