The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement, aka ICE has officially picked-up the case of illegal downloads of Lionsgate action movie The Expendables 3. The Inquisitr had reported how over a million illegal downloads of the movie had taken place within just 2 days.
The Expendables 3 is certainly a much awaited action film that stars over a dozen of yesteryear’s action superstars. After two hugely successful iterations, the movie franchise and its producers were eagerly anticipating the release of The Expendables 3, which is scheduled to debut on August 15th. However, the studio discovered the leak of the Sylvester Stallone film on July 24. The studio has confirmed that a super-high quality copy of The Expendables 3 was stolen by multiple as-yet unidentified digital thieves. However, the suit names the operatives behind Lime Torrents, Billion Uploads, Hulfile, Played, Swant Share, and Dot Semper as primary accomplices to allow the copy of the movie to be hosted and offered for download, reported Deadline Hollywood.
Lionsgate, via ‘The Expendables 3 Lawsuit’, as it come to be known, has shot-off legal letters to torrent site Hulkfile every day between July 26 and July 31. Needless to say Lionsgate is demanding an immediate and temporary restraining order that would prohibit the operators from hosting, linking to, distributing, reproducing, performing, selling, or making available copies of the leaked Expendables film. Moreover, Lionsgate wants to block any of the sites from operating, as well as recovering all existing copies of the stolen film, reported Entertainment Weekly.
But what could be truly catastrophic if the Feds do take strong action, is that not just the sites, but all the middle-men will come under fire, reported THR,
“Additionally, the ISPs that are providing hosting and cloud storage as well as the banks and financial institutions servicing the torrent sites are also under the eye of the film company. Subpoenas could be issued soon”
Torrent sites have always operated in a ‘grey’ area due to which they have so far managed to evade a ‘Cease and Desist’ order. Moreover, these sites are typically hosted in locations that enjoy relative immunity from Federal laws. These sites continue to argue that torrent portals help people to share large files, while minimizing the load on servers when they are forced to handle large file exchanges. By breaking the files and using the host computer to transmit a relatively smaller portion of file to the downloader, these torrent sites effectively and significantly diminish the burden on servers via collective file distribution.
But cloud storage platforms are already offering similar benefits to torrents. Hence, the federal investigation could prove to be disastrous if Lionsgate utilizes the Expendables 3 lawsuit to argue that torrent sites primarily promote piracy.
[Image Credit | Lionsgate]