The Hurt Locker was named Best Picture at the most recent Academy Awards ceremony, and though many might not think it deserved the title (including Kyle Broflovski, of course), it didn’t stop thousands and thousands from downloading it online. It also didn’t help that the movie was leaked months before its release here in the States.
Now Voltage Pictures is ready to start taking some action. The company has enlisted the services of U.S. Copyright Group, a firm who handles these types of issues and is already waist-deep in thousands of lawsuits for the illegal downloading of other films. The lawsuit regarding The Hurt Locker is expected to begin this week, with “tens of thousands of people” expected to find themselves facing legal hot water.
Hire yourselves a lawyer, get your papers in order, and head on over to the other side for more and to read Voltage Pictures’ response to one letter calling their actions “inhumane.”
Because the movie — much like X-Men Origins: Wolverine — leaked so early, it was a hugely-popular title to download on P2P torrent providers. Unlike Wolverine, which went on to big box office numbers, The Hurt Locker only made around $16 million at the U.S. box office, which is ridiculously bad considering the mass-praise and Oscar showers. When you don’t even make as much as those unbearable spoof movies like Date Movie, you know something isn’t right. Whether you think suing as many people as possible to make up for it is a legitimate alternative or not is inconsequential.
One such man was very unhappy with this news and wrote a letter to Voltage Pictures President Nicolas Chartier to voice his anger. Chartier responded directly to him with a sarcastic analogy and an insult or two. The man then sent his letter and Chartier’s response to BoingBoing. If the name “Nicolas Chartier” sounds familiar, it’s because he was the producer banned from the Oscars because he e-mailed a lot of Academy voters and basically begged them to vote for The Hurt Locker.
Here’s what the original letter to Chartier said:
Dear Mr. Chartier,
I have recently become aware of Voltage Pictures’ intention to sue thousands of people who are suspected of having used BitTorrent to download films produced by your company.
I wish to register my disagreement with these tactics, and would like you to know that as a result of these actions I am boycotting your films. The majority of the people you are suing were not seeking to make money from their downloads, and will be financially devastated by a lawsuit or settlement. While it is completely understandable that Voltage Pictures wishes to defend its intellectual property, this is an inhumane way of doing so.
Until Voltage Pictures publicly states that it will not pursue lawsuits for downloading its films, I will not view, rent or buy any films produced wholly or in part by your company. I will urge my friends and family to take the same actions. I do not wish for the money I spend on entertainment to be used against otherwise good people.
Thank you for your time.
And here is Chartier’s response to the above letter:
Hi Nicholas, please feel free to leave your house open every time you go out and please tell your family to do so, please invite people in the streets to come in and take things from you, not to make money out of it by reselling it but just to use it for themselves and help themselves. If you think it’s normal they take my work for free, I’m sure you will give away all your furniture and possessions and your family will do the same. I can also send you my bank account information since apparently you work for free and your family too so since you have so much money you should give it away… I actually like to pay my employees, my family, my bank for their work and like to get paid for my work. I’m glad you’re a moron who believes stealing is right. I hope your family and your kids end up in jail one day for stealing so maybe they can be taught the difference. Until then, keep being stupid, you’re doing that very well. And please do not download, rent, or pay for my movies, I actually like smart and more important HONEST people to watch my films.
Those of you who did download the film will surely be worrying about whether you’re going to have to deal with this or not, and I wish I could tell you how they’re going about it. Unfortunately, it sounds like it’ll probably just be a jury duty type of deal where you just hope your name doesn’t get picked. From multiple reports, it sounds like most who find themselves facing lawsuits are made a settlement offer that they can either deal with immediately, or, if they so choose, contest.