BitTorrent in itself is not an illegal service but due to its large-file-upload function, it paves the way to unauthorized file sharing. Through the peer-to-peer service, people can allow access or share large copyrighted files such films, TV shows, music and even software.
Hollywood though loses more than $80 billion every year from copyright infringement via the P2P networks. In their latest push to fight piracy, ‘Queen of the Desert’ producers claim that the unnamed BitTorrent users in Oregon pirated the film before its release. The period piece stars James Franco, Nicole Kidman and Robert Pattinson and tells about the story of British archaeologist and spy Gertrude Bell. It is set to be released in the United States in early 2016 but the film has been viewed thousands of times in Oregon and worldwide.
Representing Benaroya Pictures affiliate QOTD Film Investment Ltd., Attorney Carl D. Crowell filed a complaint that dismisses the belief that file sharing does not affect anyone. Pirates gain from sharing other people’s copyrighted content and their activities cut into the sales or box-office receipts of the movie. The suit calls the defendants “prolific proponents of the BitTorrent distribution system” and promises to identify them by seeking initial discovery to subpoena records from Comcast.
This copyright lawsuit is the latest effort from Hollywood to protect intellectual property and the entertainment industry. The suit asserts, “Many parties, and possibly defendants have been compensated for their participation in expanding the availability of pirated content to others through BitTorrent networks, including plaintiff’s movie, even if only through being granted greater access to other pirated content.”
Crowell wrote, “The defendants’ IP addresses have been observed as associated with the peer-to-peer exchange of a large number of copyrighted titles through the BitTorrent network with over 6,000 acts of distribution of content in violation of U.S. copyright law associated with these IP addresses alone, as such the defendants’ conduct is clearly wilful and persistent.”
“Queen of the Desert” producers have identified 7 IP addresses that distributed the film via BitTorrent and are seeking statutory damages. In violation of the U.S. copyright law, the plaintiffs are asking the court to demand the defendants to destroy their copies and stop distributing the movie in addition to barring them from future file sharing.