back to article 22,000 'freetards' escape Hurt Locker piracy suit

The world's largest P2P legal imbroglio has been downgraded, with 90 per cent of the alleged file sharers caught up in the Hurt Locker downloading case dismissed. The Oscar-winning war film’s producers Voltage Pictures instigated legal action last year against 14,583 netizens for allegedly illegally downloading the movie. The …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IP address should be no more proof of identification

    than a return address on a postcard.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    "sometimes a router's IP address might correspond fairly well to a specific user… But in many situations, an IP address isn't personally identifying at all."

    Yep, and with the advent of carrier NAT, that IP address will soon identify even fewer individuals.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    downloading case?

    I thought it was uploading that infringed.

    Otherwise, you can share out your media collection without a worry.

    1. frank ly

      The situation may have changed

      I too used to think that it was the act of uploading that was illegal, not downloading. Howerver, I believe that recent changes in UK law (and perhaps US law) have had an effect on this.

      Can someone who has knowledge of this please comment?

      1. David Hicks

        Are you two kidding? Or just special

        Downloading has always been illegal in the UK and the US. It just isn't often pursued as, without distribution, the penalties are low and taking it to court was a waste of the everyone's time.

        The new trend, however, is to try to do this in huge numbers, and probably put in some reference to the fact that P2P is not a download-only technology.

        1. Rich 30

          you can only sue for...

          In the UK, when it comes to sueing for money, the first question you have to ask is, what have our (the film company sueing) personal loses been...

          Well, if someone downloads, for free (illegally) a copy of a DVD, the answer is a difficult one. The defendant could easily argue that becuase its a DVD his friend owns, that he would have just borrowed it anyway, and therefore the loses are £zero. You could also say the the film company has lost the cost of 1 x DVD royalties, which is going to be £5-£10? You then have to add on lawyers fees, etc.

          However, if you upload while you download (the standard setting for most p2p/torrent programs) then you've distrobuted the DVD (just parts of it, maybe) to possibley thousands of people. So suddenly the film company has lost thousands of potential DVD sales, directly from your actions, ie 1000s X £5-£10? Then add on the laywers fees etc.

          You can, of course, tell your torrent program (i've heard) to not upload any data, and therefore you're not distrobuting any data at all.

          Thats as i understand it, anyway.

  4. Graham Marsden

    Err, WTF???

    "22,000 Freetards escape Hurt Lock piracy suit" says your headline, but then you go on to say that "90 per cent of the file sharers caught up in the Hurt Locker downloading case dismissed"

    This tends to imply that (certainly in this case) they aren't "Freetards" because they *didn't* actually download something and then try to justify infringing someone else's copyright )or, at least there's no proof that would hold up in court).

    Or does using any file sharing service now automatically mean that you're a "Freetard" no matter what you share??

    Not impressive, El Reg.

    1. Brian 6

      @Graham Marsden

      All 22,00 WERE FREETARDS, yes there was no proof, Its hard to link an individual to an IP address, but they still DID down load the movie illegally.

      1. G Wilson

        > "All 22,00 WERE FREETARDS"

        You appear to be struggling with the concept of "innocent until proven guilty".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Be careful, they might be a member of Her Majesty's constabulary! :-)

        2. Graham Dawson Silver badge

          @G Wilson

          And you seem to be struggling with the concept of irony and satire.

        3. El Andy

          "You appear to be struggling with the concept of "innocent until proven guilty"."

          Being a Freetard isn't a crime. It probably should be, but it isn't.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        The term "Illegal" is thrown around far too much where software, music and movies are concerned.

        First, the ONLY thing protecting any of them is copyright law, if it's in violation of that, then it's illegal, but too often it is not in violation of that.

        Second, the so called "License" is false. You must have a license to fly a plane, drive a car, practice medicine, practice law, etc. etc. But those all have licensing boards/agencies and are defined under law. There is no such entity or law regarding Software, moview or music. The only thing that exist is a contract, and a weak one at that. Breaking a contract is not illegal

        In many parts of the world, no contract is valid unless it is binding on two or more parties, and many companies put a clause in them so that they can change the contract at any time, so it is not really binding on them is it?

        If a company is selling 10 copies of a movie and those 10 copies are on the shelf, and I were to make a copy of it, because I was never going to buy it anyway, and they still sell all 10 copies from the shelf, then what did tey really lose?



      A number of El Reg contributors seem to be professional trolls.

  5. Pete 8

    All that fuss about

    a crap movie.


  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    if you're using bittorrent, you're almost certainly uploading (read distributing) as well as downloading, so the point about downloading is mute. @david hicks - pretty sure copyright is the exclusive right to copy, distribute and adapt, so wouldn't cover downloading.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just go and buy it if you want to watch it...

    Go to work, earn money, pay for what you use - stop thieving.

    1. Intractable Potsherd

      Pay individually for all you consume - you know it's right.

      ... never borrow anything, never listen to the radio, never hear music in the street/cafe/pub, never see trailers, never watch a dvd with anyone else, never look at a photograph that you haven't paid for. Be a good member of capitalist society - pay for everything, regardless of value. Never share - sharing is counter-growth. Pay individually for all you consume - you know it's right.

      AC, you're a tosser.

      1. Anonymous Cowerd

        not just a tosser

        AC also is unable to grasp the basic legal fact that copyright infringement does not (and never has) come under the Theft Act, despite this being pointed out ad nauseam.

        This makes him/her an idiot too.

  8. Peter Clarke 1


    I thought Hurt Locker was a new cloud storage firm with DRM that didn't let you play your legal downloads. Oh wait ....

  9. Winkypop Silver badge

    Downgraded 90%

    Ouch, that would have hurt.

  10. Gareth.

    So is the movie actually any good and worth a download?

    1. Jess--

      Nope, That's why they are trying to increase they revenue from it by going after people that downloaded it, and then watched the 1st 15 minutes and deleted it

    2. scub

      Dunno? I got it a couple of years back for a chrimbo pressy. if I like it - I will probably download from somewhere as I can`t be arsed to rip it onto the media player.


  11. Not_The_Droids

    Movie good?

    For a movie that tries to be a story about a war, it requires the viewer to suspend all belief in reality in order to watch it. Unfortunately, "the best" war movies are somewhat realistic (see Band of Brothers). The things done by actors in this movie simply aren't done in the field. I'd love to see a solitary bomb disposal person heft and move six 100+ lb artillery shells with a few pairs of 14 gauge wire - like they did in this movie.

    1. Sporkinum

      Terrible movie

      I don't know who's peter she puffed, but it certainly was not worthy of any oscars. It was downright retarded in what they had the EOD guys do.

  12. Aggellos

    Vitriolic garbage with a plot right out of the uwe boll manual of rubbish, still the director wares a skirt so oscar time.

    Maybe some of those freetards just settled out of court to aviod being name as having watched this B moive.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Even by the sexist, misogynistic standards of some of the reg's commentators - She only got the Oscar because she was "skirt" - is pretty piss-poor.

  13. Steve 76

    "...14,583 netizens for allegedly illegally downloading the movie."

    I think that's more people than theater attendees for this movie. It came and the public rushed away in droves.

    Estimated gross of $12 million in the USA.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Funny how people downloading movies only download stuff they don't think is worth buying, even when they are Oscar winning and critically acclaimed. Still I'm assured that when something good is created, they'll pay for it.

    Or not.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Funny how people downloading movies only download stuff they don't think is worth buying, even when they are Oscar winning and critically acclaimed. Still I'm assured that when something good is created, they'll pay for it.

    Or not.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I download music because where I live there isn't much shops and even less choice on what to buy or it is very overpriced. In my defence for downloading, I have purchased a retail copy of every music group that I have enjoyed as I prefer to have the original, disc art, sleeve notes etc.

    I have given more money to the music industry through downloading, as there is a lot of groups I would never have bought if I hadn't tried their album out first through a download.

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