Hurt Locker makers to sue individual illegal downloaders

May 13th, 2010 23 Comments By Mof Gimmers

the hurt locker 300x200 Hurt Locker makers to sue individual illegal downloadersThe makers of the Oscar-winning flick The Hurt Locker are going to sue people. Yep, they’ve joined a scheme that yells ‘pay up or else’ and will target tens of thousands of U.S. BitTorrent users (that’s if the ISPs are willing to co-operate that is).

The war film has been a huge success on torrent sites. The day after the movie bagged an Oscar or two, ‘the hurt locker’ was the most typed in search phrase on torrents and obviously, download numbers skyrocketed.

However, what is sticking in the craw of the makers is that, despite success with awards, the U.S box office revenue has been relatively low at $16.4 million. In an attempt to increase the film’s revenue, the makers are now going to sue thousands of downloaders. Expect a letter later in the month.

The Hollywood Reporter says that the team behind the film have signed up for the services of the U.S. Copyright Group, who will launch a mass lawsuit targeted at tens of thousands of Hurt Locker sharers. All infringers that have been identified thus far were asked to settle the dispute, or face further legal action.

“You can guess that relative to the films we’ve pursued already, the order of magnitude is much higher with Hurt Locker,” said Thomas Dunlap, a lawyer at the U.S. Copyright Group. Dunlap also said that 75 percent of ISPs have cooperated thus far and that 40% of the BitTorrent users that were targeted early this year have already settled.

Naturally, the Copyright Group aren’t being altruistic. The ‘pay up or else’ scheme is sees them taking 70 percent of the ‘winnings’. This action will invariably hit snag after snag and will no doubt meet great opposition.


Comments (23) Jump to most recent comment
  1. Posted by Mark May 13, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    While I can kinda see their point – it is a great film that deserved a much better box office (especially when the far inferior Avatar coined it in), I’m curious to know whether the ambulance chasers they’ve employed are asking for a reasonable amount from each alleged infringer – i.e. the cost of the film on DVD – or some ludicrous blown up amount as in previous actions of this sort.

    Wonder if they’ll ever take anyone to court for not paying, or if that’ll test the legal grounds for the lawsuit a bit too much…

    Me, I’ve got it on Blu-ray, because it really is worth it.

  2. Posted by Alexis May 13, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    “40% of the BitTorrent users that were targeted early this year have already settled.”

    Have they buggery.

  3. Posted by The Real Bob May 13, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Secure VPN, it’s the way forward for Pirates, yarrrr.
    I’ve never really wanted to watch the Hurt Locker, although I watched the Losers the other night and it’s decidedly average despite having The Comedian, Captain America and Lt Uhura in it.

  4. Posted by Nobby May 13, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    If they wanted to make more than $16.4 million for a film, they should make rom coms or kids films.

    At least now we now they want to make money, rather than make a statement or tell a story.

  5. Posted by james dewitt May 13, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    luckily I got my copy from newsgroups ;)

    Seriously though the problem is that its getting leaked in the first place, why don’t they work on that.

  6. Posted by paul May 13, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    exactly. if its not leaked it wont get copied.

  7. Posted by Richard May 13, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Yeah, I mean putting the film on a DVD or in the cinema opens up a whole world of opportunities for people to make copies and post them all over the Internet. It’s there own fault really, they should have only made 1 copy and kept it in an underground bunker 5 miles down with timed entry allowing 1 person in every century. And to make sure they don’t copy it they have to be naked, and to make extra sure, they’re not allowed out again…

  8. Posted by Noghar May 13, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    ‘If its not leaked it won’t get copied’. Right, so it’s their fault.

    Anyhow you seem to be confusing ‘distributing’ with leaking. If they had never released the film it would never have been pirated so they should not have released it?

    It’s a very simple equation. The movie should have made $30m, say, but because of losses though illegal downloads it only makes $16.5m. That means the makers have that much less money and clout to keep on making intelligent, provoking movies of that calibre. At this rate only the people who make things like Avatar and Cutesy Family Puke Movie will make enough profits to be able to write off losses through piracy and keep going.

    ‘They were only in it to make money, not make a statement’. Don’t be such a dick. They have to make money because they have to eat and pay rent and develop other movies. Nobody makes movies for charity, or they do, they don’t make many – it’s a ludicrously expensive way to make a ‘statement’.

    THAT SAID if the studios pursued and developed alternative ways of marketing & distribution via the internet and made it easy to view Hurt Locker for $2 at home they would have made a fortune. Suing the punter will earn them more grief and lawyers’ bills than anything else.

    Just let’s not fool ourselves that downloading movies for nothing hurts nobody.

  9. Posted by faz May 13, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Just let’s not fool ourselves that downloading movies for nothing hurts nobody.

    No, it hurts lockers.

  10. Posted by parpparp May 13, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    If you examine the US release of the Hurt Locker you can see another contributing factor for the poor box office sales. At first it was only released in 4 cinemas. It was out for about a month before it reached 200 then 500 screens.

    To put that in perspective, Avatar was shown at about 3,500 screens in the US.

  11. Posted by james dewitt May 13, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    No, you seem to be confusing distributing with leaking. There should not be a DVD rip available before a film is shown in the cinema because a DVD should not exist before the release in the cinema.

    I suspect that the reason this got leaked is because they sent out lots of copies for Oscar consideration.

    Besides which, they made this film to win Oscars, its not all about money, not directly anyway. A studio would make a film like this even if it made no money if they bag a couple of Oscars under the belt of their studio for that year.


  13. Posted by The Real Bob May 13, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    James Dewitt is correct, I love Oscar season, it’s rip central, for about 2 weeks in January I end up watching DVD quality copies of recent cinema releases, it’s great.

  14. Posted by john bently May 13, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    great if your movie doesnt do so good blame it on the illegal downloaders

  15. Posted by Matt May 13, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    I’d just countersue for that 2hrs of my life back, what an overhyped piece of tepid rubbish that film is.
    The cinematography is alright, but the script is patchy and the acting is bizarre.
    It’s better than Transformers though, but then so is Bargain Hunt.

  16. Posted by dean May 13, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    i agree with Matt, all the reviews said it was rubbish

  17. Posted by SysOp May 13, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Torrents are for n00bs – they deserve to be punished.

  18. Posted by StauntonLick May 13, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Just out of interest, does anyone know how much the sharers were asked to pay in their settlement?

  19. Posted by Tom May 14, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    I agree with Matt, it was a crap movie. I wonder if I could sue for years lost watching crap movies at the cinema or buying a shit dvd. Makes you think….

  20. It was alright. Not great, not crap, but alright. Not as good as Black Hawk Down or Generation Kill.

    Do the studios really think that every illegally downloaded copy has deprived them of a sale? If people had to pay for every movie (or CD for that matter) they would just spend the same as they currently do and buy less.

    And I agree with Tom. The movie studios probably owe us more in refunds for shite films than anyone could ever be due them.

  21. Posted by Exactly May 15, 2010 at 12:32 am

    Hurt Locker sucked. And blew. Pure baba.

  22. Posted by John May 27, 2010 at 1:42 am

    Foot Locker Producers can suck my DICK!!! visit new movies and tv shows @

  23. Posted by booyah May 30, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    This is legal extortion. Actually, the “legal” bit is questionable.

    I’ll write a scathing review on Amazon to warn people from funding this company in the future.

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