Last summer LionsGate suffered a major setback when a high quality leak of the unreleased Expendables 3 film appeared online.
Fearing a massive loss in revenue, the movie studio sued the operators of several websites that allegedly failed to remove the infringing files.
Over the past several months there has been little progress in the case, but yesterday LionsGate announced that it reached a settlement (pdf) with one of the accused site operators.
In a new filing at the California district court, Jerome Gillan, the operator of video hosting site Played.to, admits to willful copyright infringement for his role in the controversial leak.
While the video hosting service has nothing to do with the original leak, Gillian played a role by hosting copies of the film and allowing users to watch these through embedded streams.
In addition, the Played.to operator admits that he failed to process or respond to takedown notices before the lawsuit was filed. As a result, he is liable for the resulting infringements under the DMCA.
According to the proposed judgment which has been agreed by both parties, Gillan takes full responsibility by admitting to all claims the movie studio brought against him.
“Gillan has willfully infringed Lions Gate’s copyright in the Film directly, contributorily and vicariously and is liable for all of the causes of action that Lions Gate has asserted against him in this action,” the proposed consent judgment reads.
Together both parties inform the court that they’ve reached a confidential settlement. According to the agreement Gillan has accepted financial and other obligations to resolve Lions Gate’s claims, but how much he has to pay is not disclosed.
In addition, Played.to and its operator are prohibited 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 Film.”
The proposed judgment only applies to Played.to, the claims against other websites including the torrent search engine Limetorrents.cc remain unsettled.
At the time of writing the Played.to website is still online. The site has lost a lot of traffic in recent months but is still widely used to host videos.