Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver, aka the U.S. Copyright Group, have gained quite a name for themselves during the last 12 months with their attempts to turn BitTorrent piracy into profit. After making waves with the Far Cry and Hurt Locker cases the company has just announced they have a new client. Soon people who downloaded The Expendables last year could have USCG knocking on their door looking for hard cash.
During 2010 the United States Copyright Group (USCG) sued tens of thousands of BitTorrent users who allegedly shared films without the consent of copyright holders. The aim was not to take cases to court, but to get alleged infringers to pay a cash settlement to make legal action go away.
One of the movie companies partnering with USCG are Achte/Neunte, the makers of the movie Far Cry. That case originally had more than 4,500 defendants but in November 2010 a district court judge told USCG that they could only pursue those who were sued in the correct jurisdiction, 140 in total.
Now, according to Hollywood Reporter, USCG have not been put off by this setback. On the contrary, they have just signed up a new company to their scheme.
Although Nu Image Films may not immediately ring any bells with BitTorrent users, they have an impressive 179 movies in their portfolio. One of their most successful movies to date will certainly sound familiar- the 2010 blockbuster ‘The Expendables’.
According to Thomas Dunlap at USCG, The Expendables will be the focus of a new lawsuit being prepared by his company which is set to target the untold thousands of Internet users who shared the movie on BitTorrent during 2010. Dunlap says other lawsuits for Nu Image movies will follow.
The potential numbers are significant. The Expendables first appeared in TorrentFreak’s chart of most-pirated movies back in August 2010 and stayed there for 8 straight weeks. It was also the 27th most-searched for term on one of BitTorrent’s most popular indexes last year.
In a sure sign that USCG’s business plan is all about making money from piracy and not stopping or deterring it, THR quotes Dunlap as saying that USCG has been doing background checks on identities of BitTorrent users it has obtained to date and that those who live in “a $100,000 house” may be more appealing targets than those who live in a “$10,000 trailer”.