USCG drops "The Expendables" suit, plotting new strategy

By on August 26, 2011, 5:29 PM

Nu Image has withdrawn its case against the remaining defendants accused of downloading "The Expendables." Represented by the US Copyright Group (aka the law firm of Dunlap, Grubb and Weaver), the studio received subpoenas to shakedown 23,322 alleged pirates earlier this year in what was the largest BitTorrent case in US history -- a short-lived title that was swiped by an update in the US Copyright Group's Hurt Locker suit.

The plaintiff was treading thin ice throughout the case after agitating presiding judge Robert Wilkins, who all but dismissed the filing earlier this month. As we've seen in a handful of similar cases, Wilkins determined that most of the alleged filesharers were out of his court's jurisdiction. Of the original 23,322 accused, only about 84 had IP addresses that were actually around the District of Columbia, "freeing" over 99% of the defendants.

To pursue all of the suspected pirates, Nu Image would have to file suits all across the US, which would complicate the approach of these smash and grab suits. The tactic, as you probably know, is very simple: pile as many IP addresses into one filing as possible, then send scary letters to the accused demanding that they pay a handsome sum to make the problem disappear. Even if only a fraction of the recipients bite, it's highly lucrative.

It may be more expensive to file multiple suits against smaller groups of pirates in separate jurisdictions, but the US Copyright Group believes there's still room for profit, as that's precisely what the firm intends to do. Although that strategy will cost more to execute, there's a potential silver lining: the US Copyright Group's filings will be spread across more courts, so it has a decent chance of finding judges who are more willing to play ball than Wilkins.

Because The Expendables suit was voluntarily dismissed without prejudice, the plaintiff can refile it. Considering the comments mentioned above, you can expect that to make headlines sometime in the near future. In fact, the Hollywood Reporter claims that Nu Image also plans to file cases against alleged pirates of "Conan the Barbarian," "Drive Angry" and "The Mechanic" -- the first of which hit theaters about a week ago and has been unsuccessful.




User Comments: 13

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DeliciousPie said:

This shit blows my mind.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

The Mechanic wasn't that bad.

Is this the back end of movies? If you have a crappy box office, you can make your money back suing pirates. That's some outside the box thinkin'.

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

I agree with gwailo247. I thought The Mechanic was a pretty decent movie. Not much action from Statham though. Pretty ****ed up ending >_>

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Lol file lawsuits over unsuccessful movies...

TekGun TekGun said:

There does seem to be a trend of make a crap movie/game then try to sue for some profit.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

tekgun said:

There does seem to be a trend of make a crap movie/game then try to sue for some profit.

funny thing is that they end up loosing money anyway since no one will actually pay the fines, especially when they are high, they will probably see like 10th of the sum...

Guest said:

The bastard lawyers are the ones that need to go to jail. They are worse that armed bank robbers and the government just lets them go on and on and on. What's this random number ****?

Guest said:

Conan is doing ****, because the movie is worse than garbage you bloody thieves! give me back my 10 ?...

Guest said:

Need to change your headline.

The abbreviation "USCG" stands for only one thing - United States Coast Guard.

Any other use is unneccessarily misleading.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

United States Coast Guard.

Thats what I thought when I read the headline too..

treetops treetops said:

Do you know the abbreviation for Swedens equivalent to the coast guard is? Me either just because we live in America we expect everyone to know everything about us, were jerks lol.

Guest said:

@treetops Ahah, I thought the same thing : why are these guys speaking about an american acronym ? With the Internet it's often hard to remember countries still exist despite a common language (I'm a non-native english speaker but still, english is the common language on the internet).

I'm also amazed people in the USA are still protected by the federal system, in my country there are no such jurisdiction issue, you're screwed wherever the studio filed the complaint ! Is there any plan for this to change with internet-related offences, where state borders aren't really relevant ?

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Eh, I bet at least 50% of this site's traffic is from the US. Using USCG is, like Guest said, is unnecessarily confusing.

treetops and other guest - you ***** about me and guest commenting on it, saying that the rest of the world doesn't know USCoastGuard, but yet everyone worldwide recognizes US Copyright Group?

It should have been spelled out at the first mention, and then abbreviated after that.

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