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James McTeigue's Survivor wasn't exactly one of the biggest blockbusters on the block this summer, but that doesn't mean that the folks behind it are any less pissed off about piracy. To prove it, they've filed a copyright infringement suit against 16 individuals in Oregon who reportedly uploaded the film and allowed it to be downloaded "hundreds of thousands of times" via BitTorrent.
According to Deadline, Avi Lerner’s Nu Image and Millennium Films filed the lawsuit back on August 20th, and while the plaintiffs don't have names quite yet, there are plans in the works to reveal them. Currently the production companies only have the IP addresses for those responsible for uploading the film, but the complaints notes that they are seeking a subpoena that will force Comcast to reveal the owners of the accounts. There is also apparently an offer on the table to the "John Does" stating that the damages requested will be reduced from $150,000 to $750 if the pirates "cease and desist their Survivor activity immediately."
Survivor, which stars Pierce Brosnan, Milla Jovovich, and Dylan McDermott, centers on a female Foreign Service Officer in London who winds up being framed for crimes she didn't commit while trying to prevent a terrorist attack from hitting New York. The film received a limited theatrical and VOD release on May 29th - but it doesn't seem like anybody went to see it. Box office website The Numbers says that the film made $0 during its domestic release, and only about $45,000 internationally.
Millennium and Nu Image have some experience going to battle against online pirates, as they filed a similar lawsuit around this time last year. At that time, the movie at the center of the lawsuit was The Expendables 3 - and the case didn't exactly go super well for the production houses. Deadline says that the case took a long time to get moving, and ultimately led to what was estimated at at $161 million loss from illegal downloads.
In an official statement about the lawsuit, Avi Lerner was firm about his anti-piracy stance, and explained why he felt the need to take action against those who have stolen copies of his production company's film:
It’s time that we hold people responsible for their actions. Copyright infringement is illegal. As creative content producers, we can’t be expected to continue to look the other way while the livelihoods of talented filmmakers and craftspeople take a hit again and again.
For those of you who wish to see James McTeigue's Survivor in a legal fashion, the movie was released on both Blu-ray and DVD on June 23rd. Stay tuned for more updates about this developing story, because it may get interesting in the weeks ahead.