The producers of “Survivor” have sued 16 individual users of the torrent software Popcorn Time for pirating the title in the latest move by a group of independent companies vowing to take more aggressive action to curb online infringement.
Nu Image and Millennium Films, the company behind “Survivor,” identified the users by their IP addresses and are seeking their true identities via subpoenas to Internet service providers. Nu Image and Millennium say that the movie has been downloaded illegally “hundreds of thousands of times and counting,” including more than 10,000 times in Oregon, where the lawsuit was filed.
They said that they are seeking to resolve cases for $750 each in damages, even though infringement carries a maximum of $150,000 in each instance.
In their lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Portland, the producers identify Popcorn Time as “software that is specifically designed for committing theft,” and say that users accept a terms of service agreement that includes a provision warning that “by watching a movie with this application you might be committing copyright violations.”
“Popcorn Time makes it clear through its terms of service that its users are willfully committing copyright infringement and gives them a clear option to opt out before engaging in criminal activity,” said Avi Lerner, chairman and founder of Nu Image. “It’s time that we hold people responsible for their action.”
After a leaked copy of “Expendables 3” was copied and distributed last year, Lerner was among those who spearheaded the formation of the Internet Security Task Force, which includes independent producers. Its members have filed lawsuits against individuals who have downloaded titles including “Dallas Buyers Club” and “The Hurt Locker.” Big studios have not been suing individual users but have been pursuing individual sites that post infringing works.