Thousands accused of Hurt Locker piracy


The makers of Oscar-winning movie The Hurt Locker have demanded that the identities of more than 2,500 individuals who allegedly downloaded the film illegally should be released.

Voltage Pictures wants the relevant ISPs to reveal 2,514 unknown individuals’ identities. The company says they used peer-to-peer network BitTorrent to download the film.

If the court rules in favour of Voltage, the company will most likely demand from each individual a settlement offer—believed to be about $3,000.

Voltage has a history of taking aggressive action against end users rather than ISPs, which other rights owners have targeted. After The Hurt Locker won the Best Motion Picture Oscar in 2010, Voltage sued almost 25,000 individuals for copyright infringement. The case concluded in December 2011 after the company accepted an undisclosed number of payments.

Adam Rendle of law firm Taylor Wessing LLP said it can be hard to pin down networks such as BitTorrent because they are so nimble and can reappear anywhere. “In those circumstances, the potentially more effective—and certainly more direct—strategy is to target the end users,” he said.

“I think what we’re seeing is rights owners taking whatever action they perceive is most appropriate to the scale of infringements, the identity and location of the users (and the ease of finding that out), the role and location of the ISPs and a whole host of other factors such as cost, availability of appropriate remedies and PR risk,” he said.

This article was first published on 01 May 2012 in World IP Review

online piracy, Voltage Pictures, The Hurt Locker

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