Hurt Locker producer Voltage Pictures has filed a widely-anticipated lawsuit against illegal file sharers.
The suit, filed in the Columbia District Court, accuses 5,000 BitTorrent users of copyright violation. It's one of the biggest ever lawsuits against individuals.
Even Voltage doesn't know the names of the defendants, who have been identified only by their IP addresses. It plans to subpoena ISPs this week to get the users' names.
Once it's identified these people, they'll be sent letters inviting them to cough up $1,500 to settle - and warning them that it'll be ten times as much if they don't pay up and the case goes all the way to court.
Hurt Locker was leaked on the internet via BitTorrent about six months before its official US release. Although it was a critical success, winning six Academy Awards, it proved a disappointment in terms of box office takings. The fim grossed less than $17 million - and Voltage sees a connection.
"A Defendant's distribution of even one unlawful copy of a motion picture can result in the nearly instantaneous worldwide distribution of that single copy to a limitless number of people," reads the suit.
"The Plaintiff now seeks redress for this rampant infringement of their exclusive rights."