John Doe picked the wrong cast to mess with.
Lionsgate has filed a lawsuit against 10 anonymous individuals who shared an advance copy of the upcoming action sequel The Expendables 3, starring Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson, and just about every other muscular action star. But this isn’t your everyday online bootleg. On July 24 Lionsgate learned that a digital file containing a high-quality reproduction of the film had been stolen and uploaded to the internet; it has since been downloaded more than a million times. The lawsuit against “John Does 1-10″ lists URLs like limetorrents.com and billionuploads.com as the only way to identify the suspects. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news.
The lawsuit claims Lionsgate sent demand letters to the operators of all the torrent sites with no response. The lawsuit further explains, “By downloading one of these ‘torrent’ files associated with the Stolen Film from limetorrents.com, users join a ‘swarm’ where they download parts of the Stolen Film from many different users and also upload to other users parts of the Stolen Film they have already received, until eventually they have reproduced the entire Stolen Film on their own hard drives and in most cases have also uploaded all or a substantial part of the Stolen Film to others.”
Lionsgate’s demands are pretty tough. Not only do they seek a temporary restraining order and injunctions that would prevent the operators from further profiting off the advance copies of Expendables 3, they also request that the anonymous defendants be prohibited from operating any of the websites and orders them to “take all steps necessary to recall and recover all copies of the Stolen Film or any portion thereof that they have distributed.”
The original Expendables film was also the victim of torrent users—production company Nu Image went after more than 23,000 alleged online pirates back in 2011. The Expendables 3 is still scheduled to be released (officially) August 15.