By Julie Earle-Levine | New York Post
When “The Expendables 3,” with Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson and Ronda Rousey opened Aug. 15, it tanked at the box office because, the distributor claims, 2 million-plus people downloaded a leaked version.
The movie did $12 million less than “Expendables 2,” which pulled in $28 million when it opened two years earlier.
The lost box office, over the film’s entire run, will likely cost Lionsgate, the distributor that spent $100 million to produce the film, tens of millions of dollars.
Lionsgate is suing, trying to get Web sites to take it down. But Rightscorp, a controversial Santa Monica, Calif., copyright monetization technology company, argues Lionsgate’s tack — attacking the messenger — will have little to no effect on this type of piracy.
The Web sites serve only as an “on-ramp” to the millions of US households that are running the peer-to-peer software that is illegally distributing the movies, Rightscorp notes.
The only effective way to fight piracy is to notice every infringer, it said.
Rightscorp, which represents Warner Bros. Entertainment and Miramax, and in music, Round Hill Music and BMG Rights Management, uses software that monitors the global peer‐-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing networks to seek and find illegally downloaded digital media.
Robert Steele, the company’s co-founder and COO, is the architect of the software that monitors file-sharing sites and sends waves of e-mail offers to alleged copyright infringers informing them they may be liable for hundreds of thousands of dollars because of copyright violations.
Or they can pay a nominal $20 per infringement and receive a legal release from the copyright owner.
The copyrights his company has been monitoring and policing for two years show dramatically less piracy, company brass proudly report.