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Posted by boghound on March 15th, 2013

Movie Company to Sue 34 Internet Users

Voltage Pictures LLC is a movie studio whose name has become popular in the industry after it released a blockbuster “The Hurt Locker”. The outfit has filed a lawsuit against 34 users alleged of pirating its films.

Voltage Pictures LLC has won a few Academy Awards in the past, and now is making attempts to receive $180.000 in damages from each of the 34 Internet users, accusing them of copying and distributing a last year’s movie “Maximum Conviction” without their consent.

According to the company’s complaint, the defendants are from Medford, Talent, Central Point, Shady Cove, Klamath Falls and Brookings. The movie studio wants $30,000 for copyright infringement plus $150,000 in statutory damages from each of them. However, the names of the infringers are yet unknown, because the movie studio only had their IP addresses. This means that ISPs, including Charter Communications, Clearwire Corp., CenturyLink, Embarq Corp. and Frontier Corp., would be ordered to disclose the names behind those IP addresses to identify the defendants. The lawsuit claims that taking into account the readily available pirated copies of the films and the ease at which they can be illegally downloaded at an almost anonymous level, lots of Internet users feel justified in their theft of movies.

In the meantime, Voltage Pictures LLC wasn’t the only company that suffered from such act of online theft. Another victim is Charlie McHenry, a co-founder of the video-game company called Trilobyte Games Co, whose product also got pirated. McHenry said that the larger tension is between the rights owners and people who believe in universal access. While stressing the fact that distributing copyrighted material is no joke, McHenry also claimed that monetary penalties are usually way too often blown out of proportions.

In fact, most of the infringers are underage guys who don’t necessarily realize that what they are doing is illegal. Kids may be experimenting with the worldwide web and unintentionally be breaking the law. And they or their parents are demanded to pay up to $180,000 in damages.

While Trilobyte Games Co is sending notices of desist each time one of its games gets pirated and downloaded, the movie companies keep suing large groups of Internet users, asking for damages which, in most cases, are impossible to comply with.

It begs the question “Who would want to download & watch Maximum Conviction anyway”?

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