Lionsgate Sues Pirates Over ‘Expendables 3’ Leaked Internet Copy

Lionsgate has filed a lawsuit against 10 anonymous individuals the studio alleges were responsible for illegally sharing a high-quality copy of “The Expendables 3” three weeks before its theatrical debut.

The studio is seeking unspecified monetary damages for contributory copyright infringement, and seeks to block the operators of several cloud-storage and torrent-sharing websites from linking to or distributing the poached copy of the action film.

In addition, Lionsgate’s lawsuit demands that the defendants, identified as John Does 1-10, turn over all digital copies of the film, including hardware like servers that contain pirated copies, and that they be barred from continuing to operate the websites.

According to the lawsuit, Lionsgate became aware on or about July 24 that a digital copy of “Expendables 3” had been stolen and shared on pirate sites. Since then, there have been more than 2 million downloads of “Expendables 3” worldwide, according to piracy-tracking firm Excipio.

“Lions Gate is informed and believes and on that basis alleges that only a single digital file containing the Film was stolen, and that every copy of the Film alleged in this complaint (and every copy available anywhere on the Internet) originated from and is a reproduction of that single original digital file,” the lawsuit says.

The film, which bows Aug. 15 in the U.S., stars Sylvester Stallone with an ensemble cast that includes Jason Statham, Antonio Banderas, Jet Li, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, Kelsey Grammer, Terry Crews, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes and Harrison Ford.

Lionsgate’s suit names as defendants the operators of sites including Limetorrents.com, Billionuploads.com, Hulkfile.eu, Played.to, Swantshare.com and Dotsemper.com.

“Defendants’ conduct as alleged herein has caused and will continue to cause Lions Gate irreparable harm for which there is no adequate remedy at law, and is also causing damage to Lions Gate in an amount which cannot be accurately computed at this time but will be proven at trial,” the lawsuit states.

The studio filed suit Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division. The case has been assigned docket no. 2:14-cv-06033.

News of the lawsuit was first reported by the Hollywood Reporter.

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  1. Bill Conn says:

    Ya right…and those 10 individuals that were sharing it personally caused the (projected) shortfall of $10 million. Wake up morons

  2. Sean says:

    In my opinion, Lionsgate purposely leaked the movie to increase foreign sales

    • How can foreign sales increase if dvd copies of the movie are being sold for $1.00 to $2.00 a copy on the streets already. 2 million copies downloaded which means 100 million copies are already on the streets. In Tijuana, Mexico alone there are over 100 street vendors selling DVD copies at $2.00 each. I wonder why Ares galaxy is not included in the lawsuit.

  3. JMClarkent says:

    …or maybe we made a terrible movie that does what terrible movies do. Bomb.

  4. Rick Lee Hollywood Management says:

    Rick Lee Hollywood’s sought after secret agent and ghost producer in the feature film industry concurs. Rick Lee says that people have no idea how hard and difficult it is to make a movie, even an independent film is difficult to make. If it weren’t for film makers… there wouldn’t be any big screens or tv. Contact Rick Lee to join his team at http://www.facebook.com/rickleehollywood

  5. Del says:

    It was crap anyway, I’m glad I didnt pay for to see it, I would of felt like I had been robbed.I had to switch it off after half an hour, hopefully this will stop them making any more piles of this multi-million dollar crap.

  6. thewayyoucames says:

    Hearing it wasn’t good at all. Glad bad word of mouth from this leak has saved me from a fatal ticket purchase hahaha.

    • Michael Anthony says:

      Ha ha ha! Yep, its sooooo funny!

      Piracy cuts into film profits. At least 2 big studios in big trouble. Someday on the future the movies as you know them will be gone. You’ll be force fed by the big tech conglomerates, films they want you to see. And believe me, they’ll know how to stop piracy immediately.

      If you do work, picture your company giving away their product and expertise for big bucks. Until pirates figure out how to steal it. A few weeks later you’re fired as the company isn’t making the same amount of money. A true ha ha ha. (And all this because you get to find out whether a film is good or bad!). Fool.

      • row says:

        Yawn

        living in this world comes with risks doesn’t it. People get fired all the time

        Suing a few people will do nothing about internet piracy–find another solution

        Fool

  7. Honorsedge says:

    Transformers is the biggest movie out right now, and it’s the biggest pirated movie as well. Yet, it will do a billion dollars. You create a good product, and people will buy it. Piracy is just free advertisement. If people like it, they will pass the word, and your product will sell. If your product sucks, they will pass the word, and your product won’t sell. I wouldn’t blame piracy for the out right fail of your product, I would blame you for making a product that was a fail, and you still expected people to pay for your failure. You get what you earn.

    We will see what the pirates think of the movie, if they thought it was a good, or bad movie. There are plenty of people in the world that haven’t seen, and don’t know how to download the movie.

    • Glenn C. says:

      I agree. You cannot ever really stop someone from uploading a film (piracy) reasons. They will always find a way. Take it as a big compliment and watch the ticket sales still go on. As long as the film is good.

      • Bill says:

        Yes, you can.

        If the industry was actually serious about prosecuting these people and going for civil penalties, people would stop.

        For example, pirate a movie, lose your car, home and 60% of your wages for the rest of your life, and you’ll think twice.

        If under age, good luck ever getting a job with a felony theft conviction on your record and future wage garnishment until you’ve paid back $1M.

  8. Jerry says:

    Now they need to sue Avi Lerner, Sylvester Stallone and Patrick Hughes for delivering a horrible watered-down rip off of a film where Kellan Lutz has a larger role than any two old school stars combined. It would have flopped anyway due to word of mouth. The sad part is that now the true culprits will never take the blame.

    • Brian Boudreaux says:

      I really don’t believe that they’ll blame a flop on piracy. If it’s a flop, everyone isn’t so stupid as to believe that it’s because of piracy. Even if it’s the worse movie ever filmed, it still doesn’t give anyone the right to steal it. I’ll take an educated guess here and say that if you were an investor in a movie, you probably wouldn’t agree with anyone cutting into your hard work and investment. I could be wrong though, and because it turned out to be a bad movie, you wouldn’t mind someone stealing the small return to recoup some of your money

      • katy says:

        if I was an investor, and realized at some point what a turd I invested into, I wouldn’t mind “accidentally” leaking a movie and then suing the pirates for alleged damages. there’s a reason why good quality copies don’t usually leak before the theatrical release. I don;t know if they win or not, but anything works, when you try to protect your investment right?

  9. I’m so glad to hear this. I think they should try and find a way to go after each and every person who downloaded the movie and sue them as well. Piracy hurts each and every person involved with not only the film that’s being pirated, but future ones as well because if people are just going to steal it, how is money going to be made hence less films coming out, less jobs, etcetera. A film of mine, granted it was an indie film with a budget like half a percent of the Expendables and the effects weren’t anywhere close to being the same, but it still made me feel violated that people were stealing from me. Give ’em hell, Lionsgate, you’ve got someone here sending positive vibes your way!

    • Del says:

      Good luck with that line, most uplaoders are not even in countries covered by US jurisdiction, how is a film company going to sue me when I live in Cambodia? Get real, its not going to happen, they’ll make a few cases in the US in the hope that it scares everyone, its happened before and it didnt work, piracy is the way forward, middle finger to the big agendized studios, I dont care if they never make another film, but they do because they are greedy corrupted scum.

      • frankie342 says:

        actually the united states government can grant wishes from the Cambodian government
        to have you handed over to untied states officials like the FBI with warrants of piracy charges
        it’s the same as terrorism and cyber crimes that linked to the united states government
        you can be even living in south east of china or in London England if you caught uploading
        copyrighted content that links servers on the worldwide web and to say the illegal site is based
        in somewhere like san Quinton or Chicago Illinois in the united states and they can locate your ip
        address and they can alert other governments around the world for your arrest and expedition
        to the united states on the grounds of piracy in aid to fund terrorist networks but country origin do not
        make any difference what so ever .

        FRANKIE LOVE ROCK SMALES

        SMALES TV UK

    • Rodnell Jokicson says:

      I hope you know this but over the past 20 years or so the film industry has yielded a relativily similar gross when comparing yearly figures. Thats with the yearly totals adjusted for inflation to fit 2013. It doesnt matter if a movie is leaked or not, people are still going to go see it if it is something good to watch with your friends or family. Piracy doesnt really have that much of a stranglehold on the film industry. On music yes but not on film.

    • Leon says:

      NO This movie sucks Mel Gibson sucks PG-13 sucks.

    • jhs39 says:

      We all know how suing down loaders saved the compact disc format and the music industry. How can it not work for the movie studios every bit as well?

  10. Larry Brooks says:

    frankie342 you really have to learn how to use the period ( . )

  11. frankie342 says:

    it’s a welcoming return of the infamous draconian days of illegal
    distribution of movies just reflect back to the days where uncut
    and uncensored films were networking their way on to shelves
    at trade fares and at black market s where the catalysts for enticing
    illegal stock pilling on films where blank video advertising in one
    particular where it was saying tape what you want both night and day
    that caused illegal distributors to purchase blanks to produce copies
    by interlinking one device on top of another both machines labelled
    top loader for the top one for the master to insert and play the bottom
    one duplicator where you insert an blank and press record and stock pile
    them to any respecting buyer for hundreds to thousands of dollars or
    pounds so collectors can purchase them underground via catalogue
    and role on 30 years and it still going one but this time through the internet
    and still on underground stock pilling trading in which half of it’s profits
    goes to funding terrorist networks and in both illegal weaponry and drugs
    trade in other countries in the global net work that leads to loss in profits
    for both the music and entertainment industry due to illegal stock pilling
    on bootlegged movies and the war still wages between all factions the entertainment
    industry law and government enforcements and bootleggers who will win? YOU DECIDE .

    FRANKIE LOVE ROCK SMALES

    SMALES TV UK

    • row says:

      Holy F’ Frankie, I couldn’t finish your post.
      As for the pirate stuff.. Well yeah it’s wrong but hwood needs to learn a different tactic than suing torrent sites and such. Didn’t the producers of expendables 1 sue because of piracy? This is just a big ‘f’ you’ to lions gate.

      Here’s the thing–the internet is somewhat out of control–you can’t stop it.

      Movies just need to build up the value (once again) of the cinema/theater experience. And no, continued gimmicky 3d shows are NOT the answer.

      • Bill says:

        ISPs need to be held responsible.

        Ten years ago, it wasn’t technically feasible to sniff traffic without horribly slowing down the network; now there’s no reason ISPs shouldn’t be held responsible for pirate traffic on their networks.

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