Hurt Locker Still Shared Widely Online; Wonder Why Producers Aren't Issuing Takedowns?

from the why-interfere-with-the-business-model? dept

By now we all know about how the producers of the movie Hurt Locker, Voltage Pictures, are suing thousands of people for file sharing their movie. And, you're probably also aware of the claims from Nicolas Chartier, who runs Voltage, that anyone who thinks these lawsuits are a bad strategy is a moron and a thief. You might also be aware that Chartier's "morality" on such subjects does not extend to paying the soldier whose story the movie is based on, but we'll leave that for another day.

However, it is interesting that despite all of this publicity and all of this attention about lawsuits, that file sharing for the movie has not dropped at all. It appears to still be quite popular on file sharing sites. More interesting is that Voltage, and the lawyers they've hired to file these thousands of lawsuits, US Copyright Group (or, more accurately, Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver) apparently have not issued a single DMCA takedown notice to get the file removed from various file sharing networks.

That's pretty telling, of course. It certainly suggests that this has nothing, whatsoever, to do with stopping file sharing or any sort of moral position. The law gives Voltage and US Copyright Group the tools, via a DMCA takedown to mitigate damages. But they're not using them. Instead, they're suing as many people as they can and threatening to take them to court if they don't pay up. That feels a lot more like a typical shakedown. If USCG and Voltage were really interested in stopping file sharing, why wouldn't they use the tools within the law to improve the situation for themselves? It does make you wonder, should any of these lawsuits actually reach a court, if those who are sued will point to Voltage's own failure to mitigate the infringement through the tools provided by the law....

Filed Under: copyright, hurt locker, lawsuits
Companies: dunlap grubb & weaver, us copyright group, voltage pictures


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  1. icon
    average_joe (profile), 6 Jul 2010 @ 7:29am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "I'll pose the same question I posed in other threads without a reasonable response from the copyright maximalists: what the the torrent contains legal and illegal files, but only the legal files were downloaded? For example, many torrents contain the movie (illegal), a 30-60 second sample of the (possibly fair use), a poster image (again, potentially fair use) and various text files or other files that are 100%, unquestionably legal."

    I'm not a "copyright maximalist" but I'll take a stab at your question. The movie and the sample are really the same work, so I'd view that as one infringement. You could raise the affirmative defense of fair use of the sample, but I don't think that would matter since it'd be one infringement either way. I'm not sure about the cover art. If it's copyrighted separately, it'd be another infringement. If it's part of the movie, then it's part of the same infringement as the movie.

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