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Hurt Locker File-Sharing Subpoenas Begin 376

In May we discussed news that producers of the film The Hurt Locker filed a lawsuit against 5,000 John Does, known only by their IP addresses at the time, for sharing the movie over peer-to-peer sites. Now, reader suraj.sun notes that subpoenas for the lawsuit are finally going out. "Qwest Communications on Monday notified a customer in Denver that the Internet service provider has received a subpoena from lawyers representing Voltage Pictures, the production company that made The Hurt Locker. ... In legal documents, Voltage Pictures has blamed the movie's relatively poor domestic performance on illegal file sharing. As of March 21, the movie had grossed $16 million domestically, but took in $40 million overall. According to reports, the film's production budget was $15 million. The film leaked to the Web five months before the movie's US debut. ... For allegedly downloading The Hurt Locker, DGW told the Qwest customer from Denver that settling the case early would cost $2,900, according to documents reviewed by CNET."
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Hurt Locker File-Sharing Subpoenas Begin

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  • Re:Culprit ? (Score:5, Informative)

    by garcia ( 6573 ) on Friday September 03, 2010 @10:06AM (#33464106)

    The culprit was that the movie sucked plain and simple. I mean it was quite possibly one of the worst movies I have seen in the last 5 years and I just watched Repo Men. The movie was slow, it was repetitive and the only possible redeeming quality it possessed was that it was rah rah US military and how could you possibly hate on the US military right unless you're a terrorist, right?

    In addition to that, there is a recession. I haven't been to a movie in the theater in a long time because I simply do not have the money due to a new baby and a SAHM. Redbox's $1 rentals and Hulu's documentaries have filled the void. Why would I ever spend $20 (for two) to go to see a movie when I can spend $1 instead?

    Enough of blaming file sharing this is plain and simple a shitty and overhyped movie which was better watched from the comfort of your own home for 1/20th the cost.

  • Re:Culprit ? (Score:4, Informative)

    by mlts ( 1038732 ) * on Friday September 03, 2010 @10:24AM (#33464318)

    The lawyers are not trying to get 5000 trials. They are trying to do one trial with 5000 defendants. And so far, they just might be successful at this.

  • Re:Avatar (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 03, 2010 @10:33AM (#33464444)

    "#6 in the Amazon sales charts is a movie made in the 1960s that has been available for piracy for many years."

    I had to look -- it's "The Man with No Name Trilogy" in Blu-ray []. Go Clint!

  • Re:Maths ? (Score:4, Informative)

    by The Moof ( 859402 ) on Friday September 03, 2010 @10:36AM (#33464476)

    then the 40m is clear profit?

    You're neglecting Hollywood accounting [] when you think about this. On paper, I'm sure this movie lost the studio billions somehow.

  • Re:Extortion (Score:3, Informative)

    by Haedrian ( 1676506 ) on Friday September 03, 2010 @10:37AM (#33464492)

    Seriously, if someone proposed "Lets update our copyright/piracy laws so that skimping out on a less than 10 dollar cinema ticket isn't worth a few thousand in lawsuit" the law would die in congress so quickly that you'd smell the rot from Europe. Probably the media will go on a "Would you like your property to be protected? The GOVERNMENT wants to take that away from us" smear campaign, and the backfire would be negligable.

  • by dhermann ( 648219 ) on Friday September 03, 2010 @10:40AM (#33464536)

    In the REAL WORLD, if a product's return is more than twice what it cost them, I'd say they are doing pretty good.

    You would be wrong. It is remarkably poor performance for a film that won the Best Picture, regardless of its production value.

    • 2008 Slumdog Millionaire FoxS $141,319,928
    • 2007 No Country for Old Men Mira. $74,283,625
    • 2006 The Departed WB $132,384,315
    • 2005 Crash Lions $54,580,300
    • 2004 Million Dollar Baby WB $100,492,203
    • 2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King NL $377,027,325
    • 2002 Chicago Mira. $170,687,518
    • 2001 A Beautiful Mind Uni. $170,742,341
    • 2000 Gladiator DW $187,705,427
    • 1999 American Beauty DW $130,096,601
    • 1998 Shakespeare in Love Mira. $100,317,794
    • 1997 Titanic Par. $600,788,188
    • 1996 The English Patient Mira. $78,676,425
    • 1995 Braveheart Par. $75,609,945
    • 1994 Forrest Gump Par. $329,694,499
    • 1993 Schindler's List Uni. $96,065,768
    • 1992 Unforgiven WB $101,157,447
    • 1991 The Silence of the Lambs Orion $130,742,922
    • 1990 Dances with Wolves Orion $184,208,848
    • 1989 Driving Miss Daisy WB $106,593,296
    • 1988 Rain Man MGM $172,825,435
    • 1987 The Last Emperor Col. $43,984,230
    • 1986 Platoon Orion $138,530,565
    • 1985 Out of Africa Uni. $87,071,205
    • 1984 Amadeus Orion $51,564,280
    • 1983 Terms of Endearment Par. $108,423,489
    • 1982 Gandhi Col. $52,767,889
    • 1981 Chariots of Fire Col. $58,972,904
    • 1980 Ordinary People Par. $54,766,923
    • 1979 Kramer Vs. Kramer Col. $106,260,000
    • 1978 The Deer Hunter Uni. $48,979,328
  • Re:Culprit ? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 03, 2010 @11:00AM (#33464770)

    The reality is, every time people steal IP, the owners lose money.

    If I download the item but never intended to purchase it then the owner can not lose money.

  • by DreadPiratePizz ( 803402 ) on Friday September 03, 2010 @11:19AM (#33465006)
    You still need to pay people, and rent equipment. Making a professionally done film requires both proper gear, and crew, both of which you have to pay for!

    You need to pay for:
    The camera package.
    Lighting package.
    Grip package.
    Costumes and makeup.
    Crew which consists of grips, gaffers, the DP, an AD, and the director at LEAST. Often times you need hair and makeup, as well as stunt and visual effect co-ordinators.
    You need to pay the producers, the editor and assistant editor, the sound editor, as well as whoever writes the score.
    Filming permits and possibly travel arrangements for your crew.
    Making a professional looking film is just not cheap to do. While it's possible to make a good film with just your DV camcorder and your spare time, if you want it to look good you have to spend some money. As for your point on props and costumes, you still have to buy and fit these costumes to your actors!
  • Re:Culprit ? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Supurcell ( 834022 ) on Friday September 03, 2010 @11:27AM (#33465106)
    Yeah. You should really see what some people [] have said about this movie on the internet. If you ask me, this movie really got what it deserved. []
  • Re:Culprit ? (Score:3, Informative)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Friday September 03, 2010 @11:50AM (#33465418) Journal

    Quite frankly I thought the film was dull anyways. I know it was a huge hit with the critics, but I never saw what all the fuss was about.

  • Re:Culprit ? (Score:2, Informative)

    by modecx ( 130548 ) on Friday September 03, 2010 @11:51AM (#33465424)

    All that means is that artsy-filmy people liked it, and as everyone knows these types tend to live in a reality distortion field--so their opinion on the qualities of a good movie is quite often disconnected from everyone else's. And let's face it, the whole Academy Award thing basically amounts to a huge, televised circle jerk.

  • Re:Culprit ? (Score:3, Informative)

    by sixteenbitsamurai ( 1070810 ) on Friday September 03, 2010 @12:33PM (#33466000)

    And the DRM makes them a more attractive choice than the Blu-Ray discs or HD cable

    What makes them more attractive is that they don't cost $30 a pop. Having no DRM is a bonus, for sure, but really it comes down to HD movies being a horrible value. Most people outside the slashdot crew don't know what DRM is. Hell, most of them don't even know what a browser is. [] The bottom line is most people don't want to spend that kind of money on a Blu-ray when you can get two or three DVD's for the same price or just download them for free.

  • Re:Culprit ? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 03, 2010 @01:47PM (#33466964)

    I can tell you that LOTR lost money because of how they do the bookkeeping. In a nut shell, the movie industry raises money selling the eventual sell of the movie. LOTR would have garnered $300+ million for making the movie. Company producing it puts forward the rest, say another $100 million for a total of $400 to make the movie. A seperate company who acts an intimidate writes an invoice saying the movie cost $1,400 million to make produce, market, and whatever else they want to put on there.

    The accounting people use that $1,400+ million dollar invoice when deciding if the company made money. So even tho the movie's budget was already paid for and the actually cost to the production company very small(~$100 million), the original company gets to say the movie made no money. They get tax write offs for losing money and everyone who was on contract to recieve a percentage of sales ends up getting nothing. Welcome to modern day Hollywood.

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