Two men in the UK have been arrested in suspicion of leaking new blockbuster The Expendables 3 prior to its release date. The men were arrested in Upton near Liverpool and Dewsbury, West Yorkshire after copies of the movie started circulating online in late July weeks before its official US release dates of 15th August. The men were arrested by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU).
The pirated copy was of significant quality and watched by downloaded hundreds of thousands of times. The men, who are both in their mid-thirties are thought to have stolen it from a cloud-based system before they uploaded. The company behind the movie, Lionsgate Films, said that the piracy had cost them millions of pounds in the UK alone.
The head of PIPCU Detective Chief Inspector Danny Medlycott said: “Today’s operation shows you the significant impact intellectual property crime has on our creative industries, with millions of pounds being lost as a result of criminal actions.” Medlycott said that piracy was not a “victimless crime” saying that pirates put “hard-working people’s livelihoods at risk”, with the activity threatening a large number of jobs. Research undertaken by the Carnegie Mellon University in 2011 led to claims that movies stand to lose around a fifth of their revenue when they are leaked before release.
So, what do you think? Should studios accept that movies are always likely to be leaked online or do you feel that the men should receive strong punishments if they are found guilty? Tell us below.