Aug 11 Citing lost box office sales that are
"impossible to calculate," a California federal judge has issued
an order to stop the operators of several websites from
distributing stolen copies of the upcoming film "The Expendables
The movie, distributed by Lions Gate Films, is scheduled to
be released on Friday, but a pirated DVD-quality copy already
had been downloaded more than 2.2 million times as of Aug. 1,
according to court filings.
In granting a preliminary injunction to Lions Gate, U.S.
District Court Judge Margaret Morrow said in a ruling in Los
Angeles last Friday that the defendants "deprived both Lions
Gate and many others of revenue that will be impossible to
calculate because there is no way of knowing how many people
would have paid to see the film" if it weren't for the copyright
Lions Gate sued the operators of six websites that did not
respond to requests to remove the film from their content. The
operators are listed as John Does in the complaint, as their
identities are not yet known.
The sites include Limetorrents, which the complaint said
used the peer-to-peer file-sharing protocol BitTorrent to
distribute the film between computer users. Other entities
allowed people to download or watch the film directly, according
to the complaint.
The judge also ordered an asset freeze on all accounts
associated with the sites.
The film is part of a lucrative franchise, with the first
two "Expendables" installments grossing more than $575 million
worldwide. They feature Hollywood action stars including
Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Lions Gate said in court filings that all the pirated copies
of the film originate from a single, high-quality digital file
that had been stolen.
The company said it learned of the piracy on July 24, and
that within days the film was available on hundreds of websites.
As of Monday, Limetorrents appeared to no longer post links
to the film. A representative did not respond to a request for
Attorneys for Lions Gate could not immediately be reached. A
company spokesman declined to comment.
The case is Lions Gate Films Inc v. John Does 1-10
inclusive, d/b/a limetorrents.com, billionuploads.com,
hulkfile.eu, played.to, swankshare.com, and dotsemper.com et al,
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California,
Western Division. No. 14-cv-06033.
(Reporting By Andrew Chung; Editing by Ted Botha and Paul