Voltage Pictures LLC, a rather popular name in the movie industry – especially after releasing a blockbuster (The Hurt Locker), is the movie company that filed suit against 34 individuals who are accused of pirating their movies.
Winning several Academy Awards in the past, the movie company is now trying to get $180.000 in damages from each of the 34 defendants as they’ve allegedly copied and distributed a 2012’s movie called “Maximum Conviction” without their approval.
According to the papers filed by Voltage Pictures, the defendants reside in Medford, Talent, Central Point, Shady Cove, Klamath Falls and Brookings (rather accurate information, if you think of it). Furthermore, the company is now claiming $30.00 from each defendant for copyright infringement, and $150.000 (from each as well) in statutory damages.
The names of the “pirates” are yet unknown, as the movie company only provided with their IP addresses. As such, their internet providers, which include Charter Communications, Clearwire Corp., CenturyLink, Embarq Corp. and Frontier Corp., could be ordered to release the names of the defendants.
“When this reality disconnect meets with the readily available pirated copies of motion pictures and the ease at which they can be illegally copied and downloaded at an almost anonymous level, many people feel justified in their pirating or theft of motion pictures,” the lawsuit states.
A similar act of “online theft” happened to Charlie McHenry, co-founder of the video-game company called Trilobyte Games Co. After his product got pirated, he said that:
“The larger tension is between the copyright holders and the folks who believe in universal access.”
While putting the emphasis on the fact that distributing copyrighted content is no joke, he also argued that monetary penalties are way too often blown out of proportions.
“For the most part, we are talking about underage folks who don’t necessarily understand what they are doing is illegal,” he said.
“They may be experimenting with the Internet and unintentionally be breaking the law. But they and their parents are slapped with a $30,000 to $60,000 fine.”
While his company is sending notices of desist every time one of their games gets pirated and offered for downloading, the movie studios continue to sue large groups of people, asking for damages that, in most cases, are impossible to comply with.
“They [the movie studios] are clinging to models,” McHenry said.
“We need to work out a 21st-century model. But we are probably several years away from settling this.”