The Expendables 3 doesn’t arrive in UK cinemas until August 14th, yet a DVD quality copy leaked on-line just over a week ago, with more than two million people illegally downloading it. Naturally Lionsgate are extremely pissed off, and worry that the illegal downloading will seriously hurt the films box office takings.
Others are not convinced, and some websites are claiming that the film could actually benefit from the illegal sharing, because it will prove to viewers that the film demands to be seen on the big screen because of its high amount of action. Either way, Lionsgate are quite rightly very angry, and are now suing ten individuals plus a number of torrent websites for leaking the film.
The studio is seeking unspecified monetary damages for contributory copyright infringement, and seeks to block the operators of several cloud-storage and torrent-sharing websites from linking to or distributing the poached copy of the action film.
In addition, Lionsgate’s lawsuit demands that the defendants, identified as John Does 1-10, turn over all digital copies of the film, including hardware like servers that contain pirated copies, and that they be barred from continuing to operate the websites.
According to the lawsuit, Lionsgate became aware on or about July 24 that a digital copy of “Expendables 3? had been stolen and shared on pirate sites. Since then, there have been more than 2 million downloads of “Expendables 3? worldwide, according to piracy-tracking firm Excipio.
“Lions Gate is informed and believes and on that basis alleges that only a single digital file containing the Film was stolen, and that every copy of the Film alleged in this complaint (and every copy available anywhere on the Internet) originated from and is a reproduction of that single original digital file,” the lawsuit says.
Lionsgate’s suit names as defendants the operators of sites including Limetorrents.com, Billionuploads.com, Hulkfile.eu, Played.to, Swantshare.com and Dotsemper.com.
“Defendants’ conduct as alleged herein has caused and will continue to cause Lions Gate irreparable harm for which there is no adequate remedy at law, and is also causing damage to Lions Gate in an amount which cannot be accurately computed at this time but will be proven at trial,” the lawsuit states.
The studio filed suit Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division.
In addition to the lawsuit filed on Thursday, a federal investigation is also going ahead, as reported by Deadline:
A federal investigation has been opened into the source of the illegal downloads of Lionsgate action pic The Expendables 3, according to sources with knowledge of the matter. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement, aka ICE, has picked up the case after Lionsgate made calls to several law-enforcement agencies to ask for help in locating the pirates, who are accused of leaking a full version of the pic on various file-sharing sites last week. U.S.
Customs was merged into USDHS, and it investigates illegally distributed copyrighted materials, including media content. In the past it has actually seized domain names of websites used to illegally distribute media content and/or counterfeit goods. Said an ICE public affairs officer this afternoon, “It is our policy to neither confirm or deny that an investigation is underway, unless or until it results in some type of public enforcement action.”
While all this news goes on, Lionsgate have now released the final trailer for the film, which should hopefully remind fans that this is the sort of film to see on the big screen, and not downloaded illegally. Check out the trailer below.
The world premiere of THE EXPENDABLES 3 will take place in London on August 4th ahead of its theatrical release on August 14th.
The film stars Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Kellan Lutz, Kelsey Grammer, MMA star Ronda Rousey, welterweight boxing champion Victor Ortiz and Glen Powell.
Patrick Hughes (RED HILL) directs the film, with veteran Dan Bradley (The BOURNE franchise; MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL, QUANTUM OF SOLACE) directing the second unit. THE EXPENDABLES 3 is written by Creighton Rothenberger & Katrin Benedikt, who previously teamed on OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN, and Sylvester Stallone. The film is produced by Avi Lerner, Kevin King-Templeton, Danny Lerner and Les Weldon. Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson and John Thompson are executive producers and the production was overseen by Lionsgate’s Jason Constantine and Eda Kowan.
In THE EXPENDABLES 3, Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Statham) and the rest of the team come face- to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), who years ago co-founded The Expendables with Barney. Stonebanks subsequently became a ruthless arms trader and someone who Barney was forced to kill… or so he thought. Stonebanks, who eluded death once before, now is making it his mission to end The Expendables, but Barney has other plans. Barney decides that he has to fight old blood with new blood, and brings in a new era of Expendables team members, recruiting individuals who are younger, faster and more tech-savvy. The latest mission becomes a clash of classic old-school style versus high-tech expertise in the Expendables’ most personal battle yet.
The first two installments of THE EXPENDABLES have grossed nearly $600 million in combined global box office.