‘Expendables’ Producers Hunting Down Thousands Of Online Pirates

Published 3 years ago by

expendables spoilers Expendables Producers Hunting Down Thousands Of Online Pirates

Sylvester Stallone and crew killed quite a lot of pirates in The Expendables, but apparently not enough. Now, the producers have joined forces with the U.S. Copyright Group for a legal attack against online pirates. Those pirates in question illegally downloaded the movie, potentially cheating it out of millions at the box office.

Even though The Expendables did relatively well at the worldwide box office (it grossed $274 million), the producers are hungry for revenge on those modern-day thieves who hide behind a computer screen. Nu Image Films, the production company that made the movie, has created a task force with its other 180 films to sue these pirates via the U.S. Copyright Group.

While online piracy is a major pest for production companies, The Expendables was not amongst the most pirated movies of 2010. Not to discredit the attempt at retribution, but the ten films on Torrent Freak’s list may have more at stake. Do they know something Nu Image Films does not? Do they believe these “search and destroy missions” are not working? Do they accept the idea that a good portion of these online pirates may also see the film in theaters? These are all valid questions that are nearly impossible to answer at this point.

Expendables Stallone Statham Li Crews Coutoure Expendables Producers Hunting Down Thousands Of Online Pirates

We do know the legal attacks are not slowing down online piracy. The approach laid out by The Hollywood Reporter doesn’t seem all that intimidating:

“USCG joins multiple individual defendants in a single lawsuit and subpoenas ISPs to identify its customers flagged for sharing copyrighted content. After that happens, letters are then sent out to those who have been identified with demands to settle, lest they be pursued in follow-up litigation.”

A harsh letter seems unlikely to sway someone adamant on staying home for entertainment. A more efficient strategy may be to gather the Expendables cast and roll the cameras as they plow through the suspected pirates’ homes and threaten them with laser-equipped rifles. Surely pirates would be more responsive to that kind of negotiation if Sylvester Stallone was breathing down their neck.

But USCG executive Thomas Dunlap assures us they are preparing lawsuits against individuals they have confirmed as online pirates. As these searches continue, the USCG should be able to identify the consistent users and sue them accordingly. The producers behind The Expendables would obviously like to see that happen.

Sylvester Stallone and crew are working on The Expendables 2, but don’t expect this to slow down the pre-production process. Stallone has been nothing but positive about the sequel and until we hear otherwise, we can only expect it will be even more killtastic.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

TAGS: the expendables

48 Comments

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  1. I downloaded it, but also bought it on blu ray and saw it in the theater.

    Sooooo, where does that leave me?

    • lol same here

    • That leaves you “unprosecutable.” If all you did was download, and did not disperse any copies, no prosecuting agency will go after you. It would cost them a great deal of money, and the most they could get would be a minimal civil settlement. It isn’t worth the time, money and effort. Now, if you are involved with distributing copies, either on the ‘Net or burning hard copies, you could be prosecuted criminally and sued civilly. When’s the last time you heard of an average individual being rousted for a single, or small number of downloads, without distributing them? even P2P distribution is extremely costly to track, to the point where the RIAA and the Movie business stopped their efforts years ago.

  2. i don’t see why they care, the movie sucked anyways. Which was really quite sad i had been hoping the combined awesome of the actors would save this one if all else failed, no such luck though.

  3. Why would anybody download this movie, legally or illegally? Those who were duped into paying to see this movie should be hunting down the people who made it and fining them.

    • I agree. If they showed up on my doorstep we’d be having a brass knuckle brawl.

      They owe ME – not the other way around. I was at the theater on opening night, at midnight, with a group of dudes, fresh from the bar. By the end I was crying tears I was laughing so hard at how bad that movie was.

      • I’d pay to see that Kofi!!

      • So you went to a Stallone-movie and thought the acting was good? lol. Whatever, the movie did bring decent violence and was reasonably fun.

  4. “Confirmed as online pirates”? How exactly does one confirm somethign like that? ISP can track and store the IP addresses a user visits but can not track the type of information being downloaded without illegally monitoring the flow with some sort of spoof-ware.

    What’s next? Will they start tracking my online spending through my online bank transaction to make sure I’m not removing money to spend on drugs? USCG = FAIL!

    • Well said Paul. More scare tactics and people will call their bluff once more. If they actually concentrated on putting together a law that allows for actual consequences for pirating, however large or small, then people will take notice.

      What they have now is a mess. There was a story a few weeks ago about a single mother of 3 that downloaded some music illegal and was being sued for HUNDREDS of thousands of dollars by the record companies. Really? That’s who you’re going after? This is on par with people getting jailed for marijuana possession. Go after the real criminals.

      • While I’m against illegal downloading (and reasons to do it are all rationalizations) I do agree there are much bigger fish to fry. This makes me think of Congress wasting their time on pro athletes’ steroid use. My tax dollars at work.

        Vic

        • Exactly but I should mention that I meant they should go after the people that create, host and fund these websites. Those are the real criminals, not some 12 year old kid downloading a Jonas Brothers song (I think that’s what kids listen to nowadays).

          Problem is, a lot of the people responsible for these torrent websites are outside of US and cannot be reached by the hand of law. Still, that doesn’t mean that US should go after people downloading a few songs or a movie once in a while.

          • It’s really a futile effort. There’s only two ways the piracy issue can go down.

            Either A.) the studios give up. Like you said, a huge percentage of the pirate community is outside the US and therefore outside US copyright law. They can still attempt to track down American pirates, but short of a court-order, most ISPs would be insane to give out lists of their users they suspect of pirating. Pirates make up a large percentage of the people who use high-speed (and therefore more expensive) internet, and the last thing the ISPs want is for their users to leave and go to another ISP who won’t turn them in. Every couple of weeks you hear about a new threat to track down pirates, or about a poor college kid who now owes 200,000 dollars to the RIAA, but none of that is stopping the pirates. Why would it? It’s entirely infeasible for them to track down every last of the pirates. It will never happen unless

            B.) The Government steps in. While it’s currently possible for ISPs to track every thing you do online, it’s also currently illegal. But it’s entirely within the Govn’t’s power to start tracking every byte of data that goes out from or into your computer. However, this is very unlikely to happen anytime soon, since, let’s face it, breaking copyright law has very little impact on Washington. They’re not losing any money. I’m not saying that the Government ignores problems not directly related to itself, but the sheer, massive negative backlash a direct monitoring of every home computer would result in far outweighs any benefit it might get from doing so just to track down people who don’t want to pay for the latest movie.

            • B. is more probable and the scariest to me. The Govt is already trying this on a smaller scale by tacking on internet restriction laws onto bills they’re trying to pass in states. Sneaky sneaky.

              I’ve also noticed many torrent websites have gone down lately or have gone private because of federal investigations, etc.

              It’s never going to get stopped and someone will definitely get screwed by this even though they probably don’t deserve it. If money gets involved, the govt will be all over this (like you said)

              • but at the same time there are a lot of voices calling for internet anonymity. im not familiar with the tacked on bills you speak of, do you think they might impede online anonymity, should it actually pass?

                • I’m all for internet anonymity (exceptions do apply like in the Assange case).

                  It’s a trick politicians use, combine several measures on one bill, name the bill with an ambiguous name and campaign to pass it so they can actually pass something most people don’t want and aren’t aware they’re even voting for it. Some states have tried this with measures that would restrict your privacy on the internet, make private information easily accessible, etc.

                  If something like this passes there will for sure be an appeal and the whole process will take years. But I don’t know what would happen in the end. It’s been done and being done…in Korea, China, etc. German won’t let you download LEGAL games that they deem too “violent”.

                  • I think anonymity is the WORST thing about the internet. It allows people to say the most vile things about others with NO repercussion nor consequence.

                    Worst. Thing. Ever.

                    The internet would be a much more civil place if every time one leaves a comment anywhere, it was attached to that person’s name and town.

                    Vic

                    • I agree, Vic. It’s much easier for a person to feel “tough” while insulting another using “anoynmous” as their handle.

            • @ Jbrose: There is also:

              C) Content providers price their wares at such a level that it makes pirating futile. An example was Radiohead’s “In Rainbows” pay what you want effort. Probably it is one of the least pirated albums on the web. If you make the act of piracy more time consuming cost-wise than buying the content legally, people are lazy and will buy the content.

    • You’re right. The RIAA nailed a few thousand people who’d used P2P a few years ago, but the cost to them – hiring people to do develop the software and do the work, then track people down and start official court proceedings – outweighed what they got back. The RIAA also got bad PR, as people figured it was the same as recording a song from a free radio broadcast. Also, there’s so much free software available online to block anyone from reading your download folders, they can’t even begin a productive investigation. And they know it.

  5. How about threatening to make Expendables 3 if the pirates don’t stop downloading?

  6. This is rubbish, how exactly do they plan on tracking everyone down? Fairly certain that’s not possible…

    • Legally it’s not possible. Which begs the question: How will they prosecute someone with evidence they obtained illegally?

      • How did OJ get acquitted of a crime he clearly committed (you’ll never convince me otherwise)? M.O.N.E.Y. – they have a lot of it, consumers don’t so we’re screwed my friend.

    • It’s definitely not possible if you download Peer blocking and zapshares type software. It prevents anyone from using spoof ware or spy ware that can access your download folder in your hard drive. The software is constantly updated and it costs too much for the agencies to create new versions. How many people have you heard of getting prosecuted or sued in the past few years?

  7. God you couldn’t PAY me to watch that movie, what makes you think I’d plop down $20 to catch it in a theater? (Admission + popcorn) Fortunatly it was playing the same weekend as HP7, and our theater security is lax. Double Features, where are they now?

    FYI, Pirates, it’s called a PROXY SERVER! Never worry about this bologna ever again.

  8. If a preview doesn’t catch my attention I’m not even bothering to pirate it. I’d much rather wait til its on tv or just forget all about it. With movies I usually watch them on a site that has bootleg versions online. This is what I do instead of pirating but honestly I go to the movies a lot but I make those kinds of exceptions for movies I’m torn on. This way I didn’t pay for it and I didn’t pirate it.

  9. Weren’t they punished enough by watching The Expendables?

    • Daniel!! You mean spirited Irishman!! :) jk. I liked the movie, but thats just me lol.

      • Anthony

        Who Me???

        • Yea lol, you know I’m kiddin ya man :)

  10. Well that settles it, I’m going to pay to see Expendables whether at the box office, bluray, dvd, or rental… NOT.

    Avatar was the most pirated film and also the most successful film in history.

    I will be actively checking what films Nu Image produces to avoid giving them any of my money.

    • Great point Dexter. Avatar gave viewers something they couldn’t replicate by watching at home (most ppl still don’t have 3D tv’s). Maybe Hollywood could learn a lesson and offer viewers incentives that cannot be recreated at home (IMAX-camera shot action sequences, real 3D, great surround sound, etc). But instead they’re just pointing fingers and crying foul.

      It is interesting that of all the movies, the people behind Expendables are going after the pirates. I saw that movie in theaters despite all the reviews simply because I will let everything slide (bad acting, stupid dialogue, etc.) just to see an awesome action flick with an amazing cast and Expendables turned out to be the biggest disappointment of last year for me. The movie was an utter pile of crap and this is coming from the guy that still defends 80′s/90′s action flicks as great movies.

      • I couldn’t agree more with regards to combatting piracy and the disappointment. The Expendables should’ve been my favourite film ever. Even with low expectations it fell flat.

  11. Do it Jay and Silent Bob style http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjWFZPJZTxU

  12. Best of luck anyway. Maybe they should concentrate on making a more profitable movie. Piracy is one battle the Expendables can’t win. Unless Expendables 2 is set on Somalian seas. Their money is better spent elsewhere.

    I should also mention that maybe movies should have simulateous cinema/DVD/Blu-Ray/Online Streaming when a film is released — it would give would-be pirates little excuse that they can’t access it or whatever the excuse is. Or does the movie industry not do this because they are trying to get people to buy the same film twice in a few short months?

    “Those pirates in question illegally downloaded the movie, potentially cheating it out of millions at the box office”

    Oh, and by the same logic, I should sue my gf everytime she leaves town for potential sex losses.

  13. So they go after a bunch of kids using torrents, big deal. That will just increase the market for pirates who operate offline and those guys not only decrease the number of people going to the cinema but actually get paid for doing so , whereas, far as i know anyway, people sharing stuff on torrents are doing so for free.

    • what are offline pirates? Like people who sell DVDs on the street? Is that big business?

      • People who sell dvds burnt from cam jobs or screeners, that’s what i mean by offline pirates. Here in aus there are suburbs where you can turn up to stalls and get burnt dvds of stuff that hasn’t even been released in the US, at least this is what i have seen on news shows. I once bought a second hand copy of Stealth that was clearly a cam job as you could actually see people’s heads in the audience. This DVD was an Asian one, where this market is apparently very big, and if these kids cant get it on torrents the market will only get bigger.

  14. The next step is Rambo shows up on your portch and he’s not in the mood for autographs.

    • LOL

  15. Stupid hour. Worst movie of the year. And then Einstein the pirate pirates an unsellable, unwatchable movie. brilliant.

  16. Downloaded and pirated videos always look terrible and arent worth the time it takes to steal it off the internet. Not to mention that the Blu-Ray package was a great deal, $20 for the Blu-Ray, DVD and the Digital copy can’t be beat.

    As for those who want to refute the appeal of the movie….screw you guys, if you dont like it dont buy it. Go troll another thread.

    • Actually Aleric like most extreme anti piracy people you are incredibly misinformed.

      Nothing against you just letting you know your very wrong. Mostly with this line

      “Downloaded and pirated videos always look terrible”

      In fact there are Blu Ray quality downloads that are fairly easy to find and do indeed look better than buying the DVD and you also do not need a Blu Ray player to watch them.

      Also it’s not trolling to state you don’t like a film. That’s just childish to say other wise.

  17. I think that 90% of movie piracy is people downloading either:

    A: Cam copies of movies still in theaters, or

    B. Hard to find movies on DVD/Blu-Rays…

    C. Outrageous pricing for DVD/Blu-Rays

    Easy fix for A, would be to release the movie on line (in downloadable format) for the same price as a movie ticket (non 3d pricing, unless they offer a downloaded 3d version), on the same day it hits theaters. this way they are still making money and the people who want to watch the movie at home, instead of a theater can. In today age, people go to see a movie in theater for the “Theater experience”, not because they cant wait to see it, or don’t want to download it.

    Easy fix for B and C, it for studios to make re release a higher priority, and reduce cost for the DVD/Blu-Rays to a standard price, jacking up prices for new releases it not the way to make sales, when you can download the movie for free, or in the lease wait a month and then buy it for 1/2 the price…

    just my 2 cents

  18. continuously i used to read smaller articles that also clear their motive, and
    that is also happening with this paragraph which I am reading now.

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