Voltage Pictures, the production company behind The Hurt Locker, is gearing up to sue thousands – no, tens of thousands – of individuals who pirated the film online. Get ready for a huge escalation in the war on P2P.
The suit could hit as early as tomorrow, according to The Hollywood Reporter, as Voltage teams up with the US Copyright Group to target those who downloaded the Oscar-winning film without paying. And they’ve got the ISPs (mostly) on their side:
After filing the lawsuits, the plaintiffs must subpoena ISP records in an effort to match IP addresses with illicit behaviour on BitTorrent. According to lawyers at Dunlap’s firm, 75 percent of ISPs have cooperated fully. Those that have resisted are mostly doing so, they say, because of the amount of work involved in handing over thousands of names.
This obviously isn’t the first lawsuit of its kind – just the biggest. But here’s how it’ll play out: once the ISPs hand over your info, you’ll be sent a settlement offer. Don’t want to settle? You’ll be sent another offer. Still pass? That’s when you get full-on sued. And attempts to quash similar subpoenas have so far been unsuccessful:
Of the some 50,000 individuals who have been sued thus far, only three have tried to quash the subpoena. In one instance, a Georgia man tried to invoke the state’s shield law protecting journalists from having to disclose their sources. The judge denied the motion. In another instance, a woman successfully got a court to throw out the subpoena because her IP address wasn’t listed in the original complaint. Unfortunately for her, the complaint was then amended.
Of course, chasing down BitTorrent users isn’t going to end piracy. But it is going to breed an awful lot of ill will, and use up a lot of time and resources that maybe – just maybe – could be better spent elsewhere. [Hollywood Reporter]