Over 23,000 people targeted for downloading 'The Expendables'

By on May 9, 2011, 7:51 PM

The US Copyright Group is after the blood of more than 23,000 people accused of illegally downloading the 2010 action film "The Expendables." A federal judge has authorized subpoenas forcing internet service providers to reveal the accountholders behind 23,322 IP addresses (PDF) caught downloading and sharing the movie -- that's up from 6,500 when the law firm initially filed the case in February.

Subpoenas are expected to be issued this week to basically every major US ISP, including AT&T, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Frontier, Optimum Online, Qwest, Time Warner, SBC, Sprint, Verizon and others. The accused should receive letters demanding a settlement fee shortly thereafter. It's unclear how much the Copyright Group will demand, but previous cases have requested up to $3,000.

This marks the largest BitTorrent downloading case in US history, with the second-largest case involving 15,551 filesharers for downloading pornographic films, but subpoenas haven't been approved in that case. The US Copyright Group has inspired other lawyers to use the same scare tactics and more than 140,000 BitTorrent users now being targeted in similar John Doe suits across the country.

This news comes only days after another US judge declined a subpoena request in a similar case (VPR Internationale v. Does 1-1017) involving a Canadian adult film company. Judge Harold Baker ruled that an IP address is not equivalent to a person, saying the infringer might be the accused subscriber, someone in the subscriber's household, a visitor, a neighbor, or even someone parked on the street.

On the other side of the pond, European regulators are considering implementing a Europe-wide firewall to censor "inappropriate" websites, including those involving the illegal download of copyrighted material. Meanwhile, UK ISP TalkTalk unveiled a new system today that will act similarly with the ability to block malware as well as restrict access to BitTorrent and other filesharing sites.




User Comments: 56

Got something to say? Post a comment
ikesmasher said:

wasent there an article a few days ago noting that you cannot convict a person using their IP address, as an ip =/= a perseon?

ramonsterns said:

*Applies blue paint on face*

A-hem...

FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOM

Cota Cota said:

ikesmasher said:

wasent there an article a few days ago noting that you cannot convict a person using their IP address, as an ip =/= a perseon?

Yeah but who cares about law, its the american way

yRaz yRaz said:

Cota said:

ikesmasher said:

wasent there an article a few days ago noting that you cannot convict a person using their IP address, as an ip =/= a perseon?

Yeah but who cares about law, its the american way

+1

Guest said:

Corporate interests will eventually force regulation and laws on the Internet.

treetops treetops said:

Reading the whole article before commenting is a good thing. Yeah that judge did hit the nail on the head. I don't have a pass code on my wireless router because every time theres a power outage I have to go to each machine connected to it and reenter in the pass. The ancient laptop I use to connect my xbox 360 to the net is a huge pain to deal with. My power goes out at least 10 times a year.

treetops treetops said:

Furthermore anyone summoned should counter sue for court fees, decimation of character and lost time at work.

Prosercunus said:

Cota said:

ikesmasher said:

wasent there an article a few days ago noting that you cannot convict a person using their IP address, as an ip =/= a perseon?

Yeah but who cares about law, its the american way

A judge said that... it is not law on the books when a judge says something.

Yeesh.

Guest said:

Yep.

Dear Attorney filing a lawsuit against me based on my IP:

Take your client and go get yourselves coited. You can't prove that I personally sat there and downloaded your asset, you can't prove that I personally authorized my PC or anyone else to download your asset, and you can't prove that I wasn't operating a public wi-fi at the time you claim your asset was downloaded.

Enclosed is an invoice for my time and effort in handling your frivolous lawsuit, for which I will sue in federal court if not paid within 30 days.

Yours truly,

John Doe

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Don't steal and you won't have to worry about the Feds knocking at your door. I'm not sure why this is such a difficult concept to grasp.

Guest said:

The most common sense suggestion.

neonxy said:

You are right. No excuse for stealing/piracy.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

TomSEA said:

Don't steal and you won't have to worry about the Feds knocking at your door. I'm not sure why this is such a difficult concept to grasp.

I know this is an exception to the rule, but still.

[link]

What if you made an enemy of someone and they intentionally did this to you, and your reputation was forever stained. Just saying...

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Furthermore anyone summoned should counter sue for court fees, decimation of character and lost time at work.
You might want to look up "decimation". I'm just sayin'. Oh hell, look up the past tense, "decimated" while you're at it.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

You might want to look up "decimation". I'm just sayin'. Oh hell, look up the past tense, "decimated" while you're at it.

Of course...it's supposed to be 'definition of character'

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

captaincranky said:

Furthermore anyone summoned should counter sue for court fees, decimation of character and lost time at work.
You might want to look up "decimation". I'm just sayin'. Oh hell, look up the past tense, "decimated" while you're at it.

I'm willing to lose 10% of my character for the right price.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Of course...it's supposed to be 'definition of character'
Here I thought it was, "defecation" of character?

I'm sure glad you guys helped float that to the top for me.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Here I thought it was, "defecation" of character?

I'm sure glad you guys helped float that to the top for me.

no, no...It's self defecating humor.

ramonsterns said:

TomSEA said:

Don't steal and you won't have to worry about the Feds knocking at your door. I'm not sure why this is such a difficult concept to grasp.

Sure, first they go after the people who downloaded movie illegally, then they'll be deciding what websites you can't go to as well.

It's like we're really Chinese!

matrix86 matrix86 said:

This wouldn't happen if you were running proxies and peer-guardian :P

But the smartest thing to do in this case is to ask for proof that you were the one who did the downloading and not someone else piggy-backing off of you. Either the lawyers will ask the court to shell out money for warrants of hard drive seizures or they'll all just say "you know what? Don't worry about it. They're right. We have no proof it was them." Just think about how much money and time would be spent on getting warrants approved and then going through all the info on all those hard drives. It just isn't worth it. Unfortunately, if you caught downloading, you most likely aren't smart enough to think of this, lol.

yRaz yRaz said:

matrix86 said:

This wouldn't happen if you were running proxies and peer-guardian :P

But the smartest thing to do in this case is to ask for proof that you were the one who did the downloading and not someone else piggy-backing off of you. Either the lawyers will ask the court to shell out money for warrants of hard drive seizures or they'll all just say "you know what? Don't worry about it. They're right. We have no proof it was them." Just think about how much money and time would be spent on getting warrants approved and then going through all the info on all those hard drives. It just isn't worth it. Unfortunately, if you caught downloading, you most likely aren't smart enough to think of this, lol.

Of course they can always subpoena your harddrives, look what they did with geohotz. It really isn't that hard or expensive to do. It isn't even that hard to search for files on a harddrive. With the Windows search function and a few minutes I can find your music and movies. People don't hide pirated stuff like they hide their porn, very easy to find.

gobbybobby said:

Its ok rest of the world, its only Americans included on there, no mention of my ISP ot any other Uk ISPs for that matter.

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

TomSEA said:

Don't steal and you won't have to worry about the Feds knocking at your door. I'm not sure why this is such a difficult concept to grasp.

I swear you're just as bad as religious zealots.

fimbles fimbles said:

This whole taking downloaders to court thing is just so futile in my opinion.

Like hitting a bull with a feather and hoping it will behave.

When will these companys learn....

Modeazy said:

ramonsterns said:

*Applies blue paint on face*

A-hem...

FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOM

LOOOLZ!!!!!!!

Modeazy said:

+,the price of pirated software just went up. The consumers have to pay for everything.

Guest said:

its called RMA (Random Mac Address) NICs and Magnet IP Blocker, makes you look clean to your isp :)

MilwaukeeMike said:

I love the irony of someone stealing a movie, getting busted, and then crying 'victim'.

slamscaper slamscaper said:

I don't know how these lawyers sleep at night. These guys (along with RIAA, MPAA, etc..) are just plain evil. More than half of these cases will hold the parents responsible just because their kid happened to download a pirated movie they knew nothing about.

A lot of these folks are struggling to make ends meet financially, so that last thing they need is some money hungry corporate entity making an example of them.

I don't care what anyone says. This is plain wrong. Piracy is indeed a problem, but this is no way to remedy it.

yRaz yRaz said:

slamscaper said:

I don't know how these lawyers sleep at night. These guys (along with RIAA, MPAA, etc..) are just plain evil. More than half of these cases will hold the parents responsible just because their kid happened to download a pirated movie they knew nothing about.

A lot of these folks are struggling to make ends meet financially, so that last thing they need is some money hungry corporate entity making an example of them.

I don't care what anyone says. This is plain wrong. Piracy is indeed a problem, but this is no way to remedy it.

Couldn't agree with you more. But, I have an idea to stop piracy! Make an affordable subscription service online that has all the offerings of a normal cable company that charges you out the @$$. Too bad corporations won't make exorbitant amounts of money that way. Their lobbyists influence the law to crush the competition and make us pay what they want to charge. There is no supply and demand anymore, now it's "We have the supply and demand you pay this price."

Why can't anonymous just shut down all these web sits? You'd think with all their skill they'd be able to update the bios on the server's boards and the fry the CPU's. But I guess they don't want to cause real damage, just to make a show of things and grab the public's attention for a day or two.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I don't know how these lawyers sleep at night. These guys (along with RIAA, MPAA, etc..) are just plain evil. More than half of these cases will hold the parents responsible just because their kid happened to download a pirated movie they knew nothing about.

A lot of these folks are struggling to make ends meet financially, so that last thing they need is some money hungry corporate entity making an example of them.

I don't care what anyone says. This is plain wrong. Piracy is indeed a problem, but this is no way to remedy it.

Couldn't agree with you more. But, I have an idea to stop piracy! Make an affordable subscription service online that has all the offerings of a normal cable company that charges you out the @$$. Too bad corporations won't make exorbitant amounts of money that way. Their lobbyists influence the law to crush the competition and make us pay what they want to charge. There is no supply and demand anymore, now it's "We have the supply and demand you pay this price."

Why can't anonymous just shut down all these web sits? You'd think with all their skill they'd be able to update the bios on the server's boards and the fry the CPU's. But I guess they don't want to cause real damage, just to make a show of things and grab the public's attention for a day or two.

Or, you could just shut up, and go to Redbox and rent it for a dollar.

yRaz yRaz said:

captaincranky said:

Or, you could just shut up, and go to Redbox and rent it for a dollar.

I'm plenty happy with my netflix subscription, I'm not a big movie person anyway. Never looked into redbox so I can't comment on what they have available. I'm interested in TV shows, like The Wire, and don't know if redbox offers the same things I'm interested in. I just hate paying a $200 cable bill when I almost never use the TV, I'm sure there are plenty of people who can sympathize with that. Although, cranky, your comment wasn't as witty as I normally expect of you.

Guest said:

Yes because RedBox is in every country...

Herpa Derpa!

MilwaukeeMike said:

I?ve been waiting for someone like you to chime in, Slam and yRaz. It doesn?t take long for the liberals to jump on this and cry ?Corporate Greed!? and blame THEM for prosecuting poor people. Protection of digital materials and intellectual property is a sign of a civilized 1st world country. Next you?ll be telling us how we should all be able to ?free? to produce iPhones and how the evil lawyers should stop lining their pockets by prosecuting us.

They don?t ?make you pay what they want to charge? yRaz, you?re free watch something else.

Of course there?s another option, taught to use by Chris Rock in his piece titled ?How to avoid getting your ass kicked by the police.? Step 1) OBEY THE LAW!!

Guest said:

You mean "defamation" of character.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I'm plenty happy with my netflix subscription, I'm not a big movie person anyway. Never looked into redbox so I can't comment on what they have available. I'm interested in TV shows, like The Wire, and don't know if redbox offers the same things I'm interested in. I just hate paying a $200 cable bill when I almost never use the TV, I'm sure there are plenty of people who can sympathize with that. Although, cranky, your comment wasn't as witty as I normally expect of you.

Well, the thread is about the movie, "The Expendables", not the price of cable. So whether my comment was as witty as they normally are, is a moot point.

People are being targeted for illegally downloading "The Expendables", not for being unhappy with the price of cable."The Expendables" certainly was available at Redbox. It's not a TV show. So for all the crap and BS entitlement whining about free movies being a "God given right", limp d*** internet trolls with paranoid delusions of being "Braveheart", and the rest of the incessant garbage about how tough things are in the torrent world, I can state categorically I simply don't care.

Did you think you could watch 200 channels of TV when you signed the cable contract? Or were you just overwhelmed and impressed when the salesman told you you could have them?

Yes because RedBox is in every country...

Herpa Derpa!

Well then you should move to a country that has Redbox. That would be the best thing for all concerned. You'd be off watching the movie, and the rest us of would be spared your "guest trolling". "Herpa derpa", is that some sort of disease you people in the third world contract? Cuz if it is, I have no intention of contributing a dime to its relief fund, nor will I vote for a politician that claims he or she will.

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

I?ve been waiting for someone like you to chime in, Slam and yRaz. It doesn?t take long for the liberals to jump on this and cry ?Corporate Greed!? and blame THEM for prosecuting poor people. Protection of digital materials and intellectual property is a sign of a civilized 1st world country. Next you?ll be telling us how we should all be able to ?free? to produce iPhones and how the evil lawyers should stop lining their pockets by prosecuting us.

They don?t ?make you pay what they want to charge? yRaz, you?re free watch something else.

Of course there?s another option, taught to use by Chris Rock in his piece titled ?How to avoid getting your *** kicked by the police.? Step 1) OBEY THE LAW!!

First, fix your keyboard.

Second, the problem here isn't justification of piracy, but instead the methods of prosecution. It's been proven time and again that these law firms are extorting people for crimes they're innocent of committing. Using flawed methods of identifying defendants and then threatening innocent people with lawsuits of hundreds of thousands of dollars or settling for $3000 or similar amounts. All the while knowing full well that contracting a lawyer will likely cost more than the settlement offer forces many to simply give into the bullying and pay up.

But for people like you and TomSEA, I suppose the reality of this behavior won't hit home until you've been threatened and extorted yourselves.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

Will make sure to do all my film pirating on unsecured wireless networks in the future.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

yRaz said:

matrix86 said:

This wouldn't happen if you were running proxies and peer-guardian :P

But the smartest thing to do in this case is to ask for proof that you were the one who did the downloading and not someone else piggy-backing off of you. Either the lawyers will ask the court to shell out money for warrants of hard drive seizures or they'll all just say "you know what? Don't worry about it. They're right. We have no proof it was them." Just think about how much money and time would be spent on getting warrants approved and then going through all the info on all those hard drives. It just isn't worth it. Unfortunately, if you caught downloading, you most likely aren't smart enough to think of this, lol.

Of course they can always subpoena your harddrives, look what they did with geohotz. It really isn't that hard or expensive to do. It isn't even that hard to search for files on a harddrive. With the Windows search function and a few minutes I can find your music and movies. People don't hide pirated stuff like they hide their porn, very easy to find.

I hide my porn just like I hide anything else... my homemade porn, now THAT'S hidden VERY WELL. Possibly in compressed files on external HDDs... oh I dont know... burnable media...???

Guest said:

Who would download the expendables anyway? The Copyright group should be paying the pirates for wanting to watch this so called movie.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Who would download the expendables anyway? The Copyright group should be paying the pirates for wanting to watch this so called movie.
Well, if you listen to the people that did, they'll tell you, "It wasn't worth paying for, so I stole it"! Is something is bad, then you should just avoid it. That makes sense to me.

On the other hand, I suppose it could be argued, " I was downloading it to see if I wanted to buy it"! That's also a familiar hymn from the Techspot choir. That rationale you can apply to anything, games, software, music, movies, Windows 7. The list goes on.

Second, the problem here isn't justification of piracy, but instead the methods of prosecution. It's been proven time and again that these law firms are extorting people for crimes they're innocent of committing. Using flawed methods of identifying defendants and then threatening innocent people with lawsuits of hundreds of thousands of dollars or settling for $3000 or similar amounts. All the while knowing full well that contracting a lawyer will likely cost more than the settlement offer forces many to simply give into the bullying and pay up.

But for people like you and TomSEA, I suppose the reality of this behavior won't hit home until you've been threatened and extorted yourselves.

So basically what you're trying to say is, they just pull these names out of a hat and summarily prosecute them?

yRaz yRaz said:

captaincranky said:

Well, the thread is about the movie, "The Expendables", not the price of cable. So whether my comment was as witty as they normally are, is a moot point.

People are being targeted for illegally downloading "The Expendables", not for being unhappy with the price of cable."The Expendables" certainly was available at Redbox. It's not a TV show. So for all the crap and BS entitlement whining about free movies being a "God given right", limp d*** internet trolls with paranoid delusions of being "Braveheart", and the rest of the incessant garbage about how tough things are in the torrent world, I can state categorically I simply don't care.

Did you think you could watch 200 channels of TV when you signed the cable contract? Or were you just overwhelmed and impressed when the salesman told you you could have them?

That's the cranky I know. Now, to business. In the article and part of the thread fallowing it are, indeed, about the movie and those pirating. However, that is not what it is currently about. It has changed topics. What I was trying to say earlier, and I'm not always clear, is that the industry has a self-destructive behavior. They want to charge more than what it is worth and expect everyone to pay for it. When someone says "I don't like your price" and pirates it we treat them as if they are some big criminal, and it's only getting worse. I can get a $500 disorderly conduct charge for fighting or $3000 for pirating a movie. Hell, DUI's are a $2000 fine in my state and I consider drunk driving more of a crime than piracy. If you decide to fight them in court they frequently charge the defendants $100K+. The way they are treating people is ridiculous and that right there is enough for people to want to "stick it to the man."

I don't pirate things and am not trying to justify or condone piracy. I think articles like this glorify piracy and somehow makes people feel entitled to pirate things. People will always pirate things, that's not changing. I do think that we can significantly reduce piracy AND stop these douches from ruining peoples lives over wanting to hear some music or watch a movie. There are privacy concerns that come with this but that is another topic altogether.

Redbox is great, but convenience is a factor. It should be easier to get something legally than to get it illegally. We have this great invention called "the internet" that people are already using to get movies(surprise!). I wonder why the industry doesn't take advantage of that. I would gladly pay $8 a month to watch all the TV shows and movies I wanted on the internet. Heck, I'd happily pay upwards of $50/month for that but it simply isn't available. I'd LOVE to see some type of a la carte TV service. I know I'm not alone in any of that either.

I have other people in my household who watch a lot television so I don't really have a choice in paying $200/month. Some of them are disabled and their main form of entertainment is television, I'm not about to take that away. So there is your reason for being "sold" on it. Many different interests equate to many different channels.

That's just too much for the service we get and there aren't any alternatives. It is the greed of those who have too much money that want to overcharge us and treat us like criminals when we don't want to pay. It doesn't matter if there are millions who think this stuff is too expensive if a few thousand have all the control. Keep this in mind, just as there are people who feel entitled to free movies, there are people who feel entitled to robing us blind.

Guest said:

Well,

I download from behind a proxy MOST of the time. Otherwise Im in Germany running an German ISP. which I have not ever seen come up on anything. On the other hand, Ive seem the Germans seize computers because people were downloading. But that was usually because they were reproducing it for money.

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

So basically what you're trying to say is, they just pull these names out of a hat and summarily prosecute them?

Worse than that, as hats aren't very technically confusing to Judges nor are they as intimidating to defendants in settlement offers.

Guest said:

I still can not get this through my head so they are going to Jell for downloading ok' here is the deal with me I do download but I download when it comes out on DVD I do watch streaming materials but for some reason in my mind I still feel as tho its sharing as if friends from multiple places are sending materials through optic cables if people where sharing movies through US - Mail would it steal be illegal why put those people in Jell try going to the sources maybe they should tighten up the process they use to send out theses material. That movie was not that good anyway they probably got mad and some Guy was like "Hey they downloaded are movie!!!!!!!!!!!!! we should make them pay we got no money from the theater". So how can we catch them? oh um just get every bodies IP address and tell them we are bringing you to court for are movie that sucked but don't worry we need your money so we are going to tell you its the law why because you don't know much you are only a consumer just pay you don't wont to go through this court thing do you? just pay up thank you and remember don't download.

veLa veLa said:

ramonsterns said:

*Applies blue paint on face*

A-hem...

FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOM

This. Piracy shouldn't be punishable. It literally is, sharing, despite costing HUGE companies a profit when they already make enough.

Rasta211 said:

I'm just going to play the "It wasn't me, my computer got hacked" card.

pumblechook said:

Can anyone explain how these people are able to determine what is being downloaded and by whom,surley a bit torrent file is seeded from many different sources.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Panic, no, we aren't arguing about HOW, we're arguing about IF they should be prosecuted. Look above me to what vela added... Like this is some right we should have because the technology exists to copy and movie studios have enough money to give you some.

Panic, if you received a letter in the mail saying 'please pay $3000 or you'll be prosecuted for say... drug dealing (something you KNOW you're not guilty of)' the first thing you'd think is it's a scam. If i was contacted about piracy coming from my IP, i'd do what any normal innocent person would do and offer to completely help catch whoever it is, cooperate completely, and let them know I'm innocent, but I'd be happy to help in anyway i can.

If anyone actually paid a settlement fee that's because they were guilty. No sane person sends out $3,000 when they're innocent.

Think about why they're so serious about this... technology is improving almost by the day, and it's not long before we're able to sneak in a tiny camera to a movie theater, and record 1080 with great sound. For all i know you can already.

And then what? We have to go through a security check before going in? Or worst case, we have fewer movies made because they know to take 20% off the top in lost piracy revenue.

Look at the NFL lockout as an example... owners are freaking out (unreasonably imo) about about protecting their revenue because attendence was down last year, and will be down this year. A lot of that is because of HDTV. Technology is replacing the standard model, and you risk losing the product altogether if you can't adapt or protect it.

ramonsterns said:

milwaukeemike said:

Panic, no, we aren't arguing about HOW, we're arguing about IF they should be prosecuted. Look above me to what vela added... Like this is some right we should have because the technology exists to copy and movie studios have enough money to give you some.

You're right, we should teach our kids that if someone wants to play with their toys, they should tell their friends to buy it themselves because the toy companies will lose a profit if he shares it as opposed to the friend buying it himself.

Panic, if you received a letter in the mail saying 'please pay $3000 or you'll be prosecuted for say... drug dealing (something you KNOW you're not guilty of)' the first thing you'd think is it's a scam. If i was contacted about piracy coming from my IP, i'd do what any normal innocent person would do and offer to completely help catch whoever it is, cooperate completely, and let them know I'm innocent, but I'd be happy to help in anyway i can.

If anyone actually paid a settlement fee that's because they were guilty. No sane person sends out $3,000 when they're innocent.

Drug dealing is a rather serious crime, unlike pirating movies which creates no profit. Any normal innocent person would tell them to **** off and go do something more productive. Like catching said drug dealer.

Think about why they're so serious about this... technology is improving almost by the day, and it's not long before we're able to sneak in a tiny camera to a movie theater, and record 1080 with great sound. For all i know you can already.

And then what? We have to go through a security check before going in? Or worst case, we have fewer movies made because they know to take 20% off the top in lost piracy revenue.

Look at the NFL lockout as an example... owners are freaking out (unreasonably imo) about about protecting their revenue because attendence was down last year, and will be down this year. A lot of that is because of HDTV. Technology is replacing the standard model, and you risk losing the product altogether if you can't adapt or protect it.

You're never going to lose the product unless something better comes out.

You type like a 15 year old and you think like one as well.

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