Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hurt Locker producer targets over 24,000 BitTorrent users

It's no secret that Voltage Pictures, the producers of the Oscar-winning film "The Hurt Locker," are going after pirates, but in doing so they've set a record: the suit, which started with 5,000, now covers at least 24,583 alleged BitTorrent users via IP addresses.

The lawsuit breaks a fairly recent record: the 23,322 BitTorrent users targeted in a lawsuit against downloaders of "The Expendables." That ignominious record was only about two weeks old.

TorrentFreak obtained a status report in the matter, and according to the report most of the accused are Comcast subscribers (10,532), followed by Verizon (5,239), Charter (2,699) and Time Warner (1,750).

In addition, the report details agreements that Voltage Pictures' lawyers have arranged with various ISPs in terms of releasing subscribers’ personal information. Charter has agreed to look up 150 IP addresses a month, and Verizon 100 a month, for all ongoing BitTorrent lawsuits. Meanwhile there is no deal as of yet with Comcast.

A little math indicates that the producers could significantly improve their take from "The Hurt Locker" with successful threats against downloaders. The movie only grossed $17 million from U.S. box office receipts. If "only" 10,000 of the sued downloaders pay a $2,000 settlement, this would bring in an amount greater than that take: $20 million.

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