The Lions Gate Film Inc. unit of the Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE:LGF) filed a lawsuit against BitTorrent protocol sites that leaked online an advance copy of “The Expendables 3,” whose release is scheduled for Aug. 15. In a filing with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Lions Gate said it learned of the leak July 24. The movie has already been downloaded more than a million times since then, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The lawsuit names as defendants John Does 1-10, who are the operators of billionuploads.com, dotsemper.com, hulkfile.eu, limetorrents.com, played.to and swankshare.com.
“By downloading one of these ‘torrent’ files associated with the Stolen Film from [one of the defendants], users join a ‘swarm’ where they download parts of the Stolen Film from many different users and also upload to other users parts of the Stolen Film they have already received, until eventually they have reproduced the entire Stolen Film on their own hard drives and in most cases have also uploaded all or a substantial part of the Stolen Film to others,” the lawsuit states. The Hollywood Reporter is hosting a copy of the filing on its site.
Lions Gate is requesting in its suit that “the Court enter a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction and a permanent injunction ... prohibiting Defendants [and others] from ... hosting, linking to, distributing, reproducing, performing, selling, offering for sale, making available for download, streaming or making any other use of any copy or copies of the Stolen Film or any portion thereof in any form.”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, apparently began investigating the case after Lions Gate sought the aid of law-enforcement agencies in locating the film’s pirates, Deadline reported. It quoted an ICE public-affairs officer as saying Friday, “It is our policy to neither confirm or deny that an investigation is under way, unless or until it results in some type of public enforcement action.”
The all-star cast of “The Expendables 3” includes Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren and Antonio Banderas, among others.