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'Hurt Locker' Producers Fire First Lawsuits Against File Sharers

Hurt Locker Lawsuits
In March, 'The Hurt Locker' became the lowest-grossing film to take home Best Picture honors at the Oscars. A few months later, in an apparent attempt to shore up their balance sheet, the producers behind the film promised to file as many as tens of thousands of lawsuits against people accused of illegally downloading the movie. Now, Voltage Pictures has finally provided a little bite to back up its bark, in the form of 5,000, freshly filed lawsuits. In an official complaint (PDF), the plaintiffs present the same, whiny argument about the P2P pestilence, before requesting that the accused downloaders destroy all their illegally obtained films, and pay damages and legal fees to Voltage.

Although the total of 5,000 targeted users is far lower than the number originally expected to come under fire, Gizmodo points out that this may just be the first wave of lawsuits, suggesting that there may be more legal action on the horizon. It's unlikely, however, that all 5,000 will actually come to court. Attorney Thomas Dunlap, the man orchestrating the suit under the US Copyright Group, has a greater interest in strong-arming the defendants into paying handsome settlement fees, in line with what TechDirt calls "a classic 'protection racket.' 'Pay up and you won't get hurt.'" It's a dirty, borderline Mafia-like practice, and one that's already been recognized as such in places like the U.K. and France. Here's hoping American regulators catch on soon, before Voltage strikes again. [From: TechDirt; via: Engadget]

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