Illegal File-shares put into The Hurt Locker

The makers of The Hurt Locker, the film that won six Oscars at the 2010 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director for Kathryn Bigelow, have commenced court proceedings against illegal file-shares using peer to peer (“P2P”) networks in the USA.

Voltage Pictures have been able to obtain details of 5000 IP addresses which have been involved in sharing the movie over Peer to Peer Networks.  The company is now seeking the names of the owners of the PCs from the Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”).

The move comes as copyright owners in the entertainment industry are struggling to fight what they perceive as widespread illegal file-sharing of music, television programmes and movies over P2P networks. 

In 2007 video game makers CodeMasters instructed lawyers to send solicitor’s letters to hundreds of people demanding compensation for illegal downloads of the video game Colin McRae Dirt via The Pirate Bay and the BitTorrent P2P network.  More recently in March 2010 a number of film makers and distributors, including Twentieth Century Film Corporation won a case in the English High Court against Newzbin Limited, a members-only Newsnet indexing website that effectively operated a P2P network by indexing and ordering Newsnet files relating to films and other copyright work. Douglas McLachlan, Associate at Biggart Baillie LLP who specialises in IP, said:

“Now, with the Digital Economy Act 2010 adding a number of new weapons to the copyright owner’s arsenal, including by implementing a notification of blacklisting process for ISPs’ subscribers who are alleged to infringe copyright, the stage is set for an increasing number of clashes between copyright owners and file-sharers in the coming months.”

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Contact: Ann Robb