Over the past two months movie studio Lionsgate has rolled out an unprecedented anti-piracy campaign to stop people from sharing leaked copies of The Expendables 3.
Aside from dragging six file-sharing sites to court, Lionsgate sent out hundreds of thousands of takedown notices to websites that linked to pirated copies of the leaked movie.
While this campaign had some success, the studio has yet to identify who first published the leaked copy online. In a new court request filed at a California federal court Lionsgate states that the weblogs of file-hosting service Swankshare.com may provide more details.
Swankshare is one of the sites that was targeted in Lionsgate’s lawsuit. Following a preliminary injunction the site’s servers were taken down by its hosting company FDCServers. However, the Expendables makers now want to gain access to the server logs to see who uploaded the leaked copy of the film.
“Lions Gate is informed and believes that as the website host for Swankshare, FDCServers is likely to have weblogs and other data evidencing traffic on Swankshare that will be useful to Lions Gate in its investigation of the source of the infringement at issue in this lawsuit,” Lionsgate’s lawyers inform the court.
The request suggests that there is reason to believe that Swankshare may have been used by the initial leaker. However, it’s currently unknown whether the movie studio has any concrete leads to proof this or if it’s merely grasping at straws.
The court filing also shows that the movie studio has been able to track down the owner of Swankshare, Mr. Lucas Lim. They are currently trying to resolve their dispute, and as part of these discussions Mr. Lim agreed that Lionsgate can access the sites server logs.
“Lions Gate and Mr. Lim have discussed whether a resolution of the dispute between them might be possible, and to further those discussions Mr. Lim has stipulated that Lions Gate may seek authority from the Court to serve a subpoena on FDCServers for the production of weblogs and other data evidencing traffic on Swankshare,” they explain.
Hosting provider FDCServers is willing to cooperate but requested clarification from the court that it’s permitted to grant access to the servers, as they were ordered to take them offline in the previous injunction.
Whether the server logs will indeed expose the initial leaker has yet to be seen, but Lionsgate has clearly not given up the effort to track down the source.
Meanwhile, the movie studio continues to stop the distribution of The Expendables 3 via various file-sharing sites.
Earlier this week the court approved a request to add Limetorrents.net and Torrentdownload.biz to the injunction as these sites are connected to the owner of Limetorrents.com. Both sites currently remain online but no longer list any copies of Expendables 3.