Oregon has become a target state for pirated films. The copyright holders for the Adam Sandler film “The Cobbler” have filed a lawsuit against 11 Oregon internet users for illegally watching the pirated film using the website Popcorn Time. A similar lawsuit for the Peirce Brosnan film “Survivor” has also named 16 Oregon web users in their lawsuit. Popcorn Time is a BitTorrent site that connects users to pirated films. What makes Popcorn Time different from other pirate sites is that it is professional looking and virtually seamless in its use. Many users have no idea that it is in fact a website built upon connecting users to unauthorized films many of which are new releases. Both lawsuits claim that evidence of 10,000 instances of illegally download examples stemming from Oregon users.
The cases could elevate national anti-piracy efforts. A change in consumer use of pirate sites would have an effect on small businesses that sell DVD’s and re-sale shops in Oregon. Popcorn Time also provides access to free movies that are still in the theaters which hurt small pub theaters which depend on low-cost films approaching their DVD release date.
The strategy of preventing copyright theft by suing individual internet users was utilized often by the music industry. What makes this case interesting is that the films in question are among the smaller films to be recently released.
One of the complaints state, “The fight against counterfeiting and piracy are critical issues of importance to the both the United States of America and the State of Oregon. Popcorn Time exists for one purpose and one purpose only: to steal copyrighted content.”
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