Makers of The Hurt Locker have broken a world record by filing lawsuits against 24,583 torrent site users for copyright theft. However, it could take up to a decade to find out the personal information of all of those sued.
Voltage Pictures has added a further 20,000 alleged file-sharers to an action it started back in March 2010, so has overtaken the previous record held by the owners of The Expendables, which was set at 23,322 users only two weeks ago. Like in that case, rather than initiate court proceedings, the studio is expected to send each of the defendants a settlement letter claiming cash damages.
But, it has been revealed, not all of the relevant users' details are currently in Voltage Pictures' hands. Most of those suspected of illegally downloading and file sharing The Hurt Locker are subscribers of Comcast (10,532 in total), with Verizon (5,239), Charter (2,699) and Time Warner (1,750) making up the vast majority of the rest.
And as there is no current legal agreement with Comcast over the handing over of its subscribers' details, it could still take a considerable while for Voltage Pictures' to enforce any action.
Deals have been struck with Verizon and Charter, but the former has only promised to look up 150 IP addresses a month, while the latter will supply just 100. It can, therefore, take a decade or more for all of the details to be discovered.
The one thing that's sure though is that Voltage Pictures is unlikely to give up. As stated on Torrent Freak, if less than half of those targeted by the settlement letter pay up a $2,000, that'd still be $20 million gained in damages. The Oscar winner itself only grossed $17 million at the US box office.
Will this kind of action deter illegal file-sharing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below...