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
    Mike Masnick (profile), 6 Jul 2010 @ 12:11pm

    Re:

    This article in my view fairly exemplifies the "double speak" that so regularly appears here in matters pertaining to copyright law.

    This comment in my view fairly exemplifies the "double speak" that so regularly appears in comments from certain anonymous cowards in matters pertaining to copyright law.

    On the one hand there is the regular refrain that rights holders should stop pursuing "platform" owners and start pursuing those who actually committed the alleged infringing acts. Why punish "platform" owners? They merely provide "dumb pipes", and imposing liability upon them ignores the true malfeasors.

    Slight misstatement of the position. It's not about "why punish the platform owners," it's about proper application of liability.

    But what happens when a rights holder pursues those who committed the allegedly infringing acts? In this case the rights holder is criticized for not using the DMCA against the "platform" owners.

    And here's where the doublespeak shines brightest. Using a DMCA to take down content is not doing something "against the platform owner." And you know it.

    The rule here seems to be that using the DMCA against "platform" owners is wrong, and that not using the DMCA against "platform" owners is shortsighted.

    Again, the DMCA takedown is not against the platform owner at all. It's against the uploader. Our complaints about the use of DMCA takedowns are when those takedowns themselves are either bogus or serve no purpose.

    In this case -- which I thought was clear from the text -- was that these parties claim they're trying to stop file sharing, but are not using the tools that are readily available to them.

    It is not doublespeak at all to point out that their actions do no match with their words, even if we feel that their choices in actions are mistaken.

    Of course, all of this is really a shorthand way of saying that copyright law should go the way of the "buggy whip".


    Misstating our position so blatantly does nothing to make us think that you are here to engage in serious debate, as you often insist.

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