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
    Paddy (profile), 6 Jul 2010 @ 9:39am

    Re: More than one way to skin a cat, or perform a sting operation

    You seem to confuse rights and morals (two subjective ideals) with laws. Morally, I see no problem with downloading The Hurt Locker. Legally, I am not allowed to. My rights, and the rights of the film makers don’t really enter into this case.

    Ignoring the tools provided to you to minimise the damage from infringement and subsequently suing infringers smacks of a money grab. While it may be legal, it’s difficult to sympathise with the film makers in this case.

    If they were really concerned about the ongoing infringement they would be taking every measure to stop it, not watching it go on in the background while they sue thosands of people for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Equally, if they were as confident as they pretend to be that each of the suspected infringers was guilty, they would never opt for a settlement of a few thousand bucks when there’s a potential $150,000 per infringement waiting in the courtroom.

    The whole operation is a scam by the short-sighted and bitter makers of a poorly marketed film. Hopefully enough people boycott their future productions as to cost them more than they could ever make from the settlements. I paid for The Hurt Locker on DVD, but I know they’ll never get another penny of my money.

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