Producers of "The Hurt Locker" have asked a federal court to order Internet service providers to reveal the names of customers who they accuse of illegally sharing copies of the film via the Web.
Voltage Pictures, the company that produced the Oscar-winning movie, filed a 23-page document on Monday with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Included in the filing were the Internet protocol addresses belonging to some of the people accused of pirating the movie. The production company said that it will file more IP addresses with the court in the future. (A complete list of addresses filed with the court Monday can be found at the bottom of the story.)
Last month, Voltage accused 5,000 unnamed people of copyright infringement in a lawsuit and stirred memories of the days when the music industry filed suits against individuals for illegal file sharing. The Recording Industry Association of America abandoned the 5-year-old litigation campaign in 2008.
Before Voltage can actually name defendants in its case, it must first acquire the identities of the alleged pirates from their ISPs. To do that, Voltage's legal representatives, Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver, must persuade a judge to give them the power to subpoena records of each of the accused file sharers.
"This lawsuit cannot proceed without the limited discovery plaintiff seeks," Voltage's attorneys wrote in the most recent filing. "The ISPs are the only entities that can identify the otherwise anonymous defendants. Plaintiff will be unable to protect its copyrighted (film) from continued infringement."
Some ISPs, such as Time Warner Cable, are resisting efforts by Dunlap to force them to look up thousands of names. In addition to "The Hurt Locker," Dunlap is performing antipiracy chores for a host of other movies and has reportedly sent more than 50,000 IP requests to bandwidth providers.
Time Warner Cable argues that the volume of requests from Dunlap could take up too many of the company's resources and will limit the company's ability to find IP addresses for law enforcement officials, who often request them for criminal investigations.
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