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Lionsgate has filed a lawsuit against the operators of several torrent sites as the studio looks to combat the potentially damaging Expendables 3 leak.
The movie studio has six sites in their crosshairs: limetorrents.com, hulkfile.eu, played.to, billionuploads.com, swantshare.com and dotsemper.com, and 10 operators behind said sites, according to The Hollywood Reporter, who first learned of the suit.
Lionsgate notes that they have tried to get torrents of the advance leak pulled from hulkfile and have sent repeated requests, but never received a response back.
In the lawsuit, the movie studio is seeking to get the six sites to stop hosting, reproducing, linking to and more towards the leaked copy of the film, which doesn't even hit theaters until Aug. 15. The suit also seeks that the 10 John Does must "take all steps necessary to recall and recover all copies of the Stolen Film or any portion thereof that they have distributed."
It isn't noted exactly how Lionsgate hopes a website would be able to follow through with that, especially since the film has been downloaded more than a million times in the week since popping up online.
The reality for Lionsgate is that the film is out there and there is little that the studio can realistically do to stop people from downloading it online. So the real focus now turns to how will the leak affect box office sales?
Unsurprisingly people tend to fall on two sides of the subject, one that it will lose a ton of potential revenue or two that the film will survive the leak and ultimately be, more or less, fine.
Greenburg Glusker intellectual property lawyer Pierce O'Donnell takes the former side of the issue and believes that the film could lose "millions and millions" both in regards to box office and DVD/Blu-Ray sales, he told TheWrap.
Torrent Freak founder Ernesto Van Der Sar sits more in the middle of the issue saying that Expendables 3 will be affected, but probably not to a disastrous degree. "I don't think one downloaded copy is one missed visitor at a movie theater."
The Sylvester Stallone-led action film leaked online late last week and in a period of 48 hours had been snatched more than 200,000 times. One unusual face of the leak is that the copy was said to be in DVD quality, rather than a CAM or other rip.
It will be interesting to see how Expendables 3 does at the box office after a leak of this severity.
image courtesy of INFphoto.com