by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
copyright, expendables

nu image, us copyright group

Expendables Producers Dump Entire Lawsuit; Will They Refile?

from the might-not-be-over-yet dept

One of the most high profile US Copyright Group lawsuits was for producers Nu Image, who made The Expendables movie, which ended up making over $100 million. For some reason, they thought that it would be a good strategy to then shake down a bunch of people who downloaded the movie. In fact, they sued an astounding 23,322 people. After first allowing such subpoenas to go out to identify who was behind those 23,322 IP addresses (though not necessarily behind any infringement), the judge realized that most of those people were not in the proper jurisdiction and dismissed 23,238 of the IPs from the lawsuit.

Now it appears that rather than go forward with the case against the remaining 84 IP addresses, the entire case has been dismissed voluntarily by Nu Image and USCG. That said, the dismissal is without prejudice, meaning that they can refile it. I'm wondering if they're working on another strategy to try to once again link up a lot more than 84 people. If, instead, Nu Image has realized that perhaps this isn't a smart strategy, that would be nice to hear... but until there's confirmation on that front, it seems likely that it's just looking for a more efficient way to sue its fans.

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  1. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 26 Aug 2011 @ 5:43am

    Re: English.

    There are many trolls who have been given the subpenas to get names.
    The all get sent a threat letter of some type, some get phone calls.
    Some of those people settle, some of them get lawyers, some don't respond.
    Some people engage them in conversations, and end up handing them a confession.
    Some people are convinced by the trolls its their internet account so they have to pay even if they know nothing about it.
    Some of the trolls only handle porn work, so they make sure to mention that your name isn't public yet and if you pay up no one will need to know.

    The settlement letters are where the money is made.
    If they actually took someone to court who hasn't made an admission of guilt, then their entire business model could collapse as the IP gathering technique would have to be revealed to the Doe's lawyer and experts.
    (see the article 2 below this one about USCG and some problems from a lawsuit against them)
    The experts could slice and dice the system and show that there are severe problems with IP identification as it is commonly done.
    There might also be proof that the IP gathering firm might have seeded the file in the first place.

    There are way to many downsides to taking people to court, the only ones ever named are the ones who have basically admitted guilt and then its just more pressure because loosing in court is $150,000... so paying a few thousand seems more palatable.

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