Despite winning an Oscar for its incredible portrayal of working under pressure in the Iraq war zone, The Hurt Locker wasn’t a huge hit at the box office. The studio blames piracy for this, and is seeking to claim some of its alleged losses back from those it believes were involved.
The Hurt Locker Hurt
Voltage Pictures, the studio behind The Hurt Locker, which won the Oscar for ‘Best Picture’ at the 2010 Academy Awards, has teamed up with the over-importantly titled U.S. Copyright Group, which is actually the law firm Dunlap, Grubb and Weaver to chase after alleged pirates of its film.
Between them they claim to have the IP addresses of 24,583 people who illegally downloaded the movie from the Internet. This is 20,000 more than the 5,000 already threatened with legal action for the same offense a year ago, many of whom have since denied any wrongdoing.
The total number of defendants represents a new record for the number of users indicted in a BitTorrent lawsuit, beating the number involved in the alleged piracy of The Expendables by more than 1,000.
Legal documents seen by TorrentFreak claim that those being targeted are 10,532 Comcast subscribers, 5,239 Verizon users, 2,699 Charter users, and 1,750 Time Warner users.
A Hiding To Nothing
I understand why Voltage Pictures is doing this, but it’s surely a hiding to nothing. Yes, The Hurt Locker only took $49 million at the worldwide box office, but to think piracy was wholly to blame is preposterous.
Furthermore this method of identifying IP addresses and then issuing ‘pay up or else’ warnings to the people connected to them has been shown to be far from faultless. A British company called ACS:Law was hounded out of business for taking a similar approach to alleged copyright infringers.
Lastly, claiming someone owes thousands of dollars for one case of piracy, which is almost impossible to prove beyond doubt with nothing more than an IP address as evidence, is bizarre.
If just 10,000 of those alleged to have committed piracy by downloading The Hurt Locker pay the average demand of $2,000 that’s $20 million. Which is an incredible amount of money, as TF points out, more than the movie made at the U.S. box office. I guess we have our reason for this going ahead right there.
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