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
    PaulT (profile), 6 Jul 2010 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I apologise about the maximalist comment, it's just that those are the people we tend to have to argue with around here.

    "If it's part of the movie, then it's part of the same infringement as the movie."

    I would disagree with this, in the sense that it's a separate file and that small samples for certain purposes are fair use. Criticism being one of them, and since trailers rarely reflect the actual content of the movie I would think this is OK.

    I agree with the fact that such a person would be sued, but I'd hope that a court would find the fact that *only* the sample was download would not constitute infringement as someone intending to download the whole movie would.

    I would also consider such a lawsuit to be stupid and counter-productive, as not only would it not regain any "lost" revenue (which would not have been lost in the first place as the person in question was not downloading something commercially available) but would not encourage the target to purchase movies in the future and may invoke a boycott from them and their friends and family.

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