If you recently downloaded Dallas Buyers Club through a torrent site, then you could have a team of lawyers knocking on your door sometime soon.
Voltage Pictures, the company who targeted folks who illegally downloaded copies of The Hurt Locker back in 2010, is spearheading the case against 31 anonymous torrent users who snagged copies of the award-winning drama.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Voltage filed the lawsuit in the Southern District of Texas earlier this week. Court documents explain that torrent users who download Dallas Buyers Club are essentially helping others to do the same.
The lawsuit reads:
“Each time a Defendant unlawfully distributes a free copy of Plaintiff’s copyrighted movie to others over the Internet, each person who copies the movie then distributes the unlawful copy to others without any significant degradation in sound and picture quality. Thus, a Defendant’s distribution of even one unlawful copy of a motion picture can result in the nearly instantaneous worldwide distribution of that single copy to a limitless number of people.”
Although it typically takes quite a while before clean copies of theatrical films to hit torrent sites, an awards screener of Dallas Buyers Club found its way online by January 3. By the end of the month, the flick was one of the most-pirated motion pictures on the internet.
Voltage Pictures said they were able to identify the IP addresses of the offenders by utilizing “geolocation technology.” While the company is initially going after 31 torrent users, the plaintiffs will continue to keep their eyes on how many people illegally download Dallas Buyers Club.
To identify the names behind the IP addresses, Voltage intends to request the information from internet service providers. Since most companies aren’t willing to cough up details about their customers so easily, Voltage could face a few speed bumps along the way.
Voltage Pictures producer Nicolas Chartier isn’t messing around when it comes to internet piracy. When a Boing Boing reader criticized the company’s methods of tracking down people who illegally download movies a few years ago, he responded with a very stern letter.
“I actually like to pay my employees, my family, my bank for their work and like to get paid for my work. I’m glad you’re a moron who believes stealing is right. I hope your family and your kids end up in jail one day for stealing so maybe they can be taught the difference. Until then, keep being stupid, you’re doing that very well. And please do not download, rent, or pay for my movies, I actually like smart and more important HONEST people to watch my films.”
What do you think about Voltage Pictures going after people who illegally downloaded Dallas Buyers Club?