Lawsuit Doesn’t Deter Hurt Locker File Sharing

Academy Award winner The Hurt Locker has proven to be a hit among file sharers, even a year after it was first released — so much so that a recent lawsuit targeting BitTorrent users sharing the file has failed to impact the number of users downloading the movie.

Earlier this year, the producers of The Hurt Locker, along with the US Copyright Group, sued 5,000 unidentified BitTorrent users that they claimed were sharing the video file. Using the complaint, the producers are hoping to get ISPs to hand over personal information of the users associated with IP addresses, which they will then use to go after those users individually.

The Hurt Locker was the third most-pirated film of last year’s Oscar class, and was a surprise winner for Best Picture, beating out James Cameron’s 3-D blockbuster Avatar. But despite the recent legal action, the film continues to be a popular download.

According to TorrentFreak, The Hurt Locker was download more than 200,000 times in June, making it one of the top 25 movie downloads for the month. The number of downloads is down only slightly over the previous month, and interest in the US — where the producers are taking their legal action — is still strong, with 23 percent of all downloads happening here. As a result, it seems that the lawsuit isn’t acting as much of a deterrent to file sharers that are downloading the movie from various torrent sites.

Of course, this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise: Lawsuits from the RIAA directly targeting users that were sharing music files failed to thwart file sharing in that industry. Instead, it created ill will between users, the studios and artists, and more importantly failed to make up for the loss in revenues that the music industry suffered while undergoing its shift from physical to digital media. After its failed attempt to sue individual file sharers, the music labels shifted instead to pushing “three strikes” legislation, which would attempt to turn off Internet access for users found to infringe multiple times.

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