Avast, me hearties! There be trouble on the high seas. Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, so forgive your coworkers if they suddenly start yo-ho-hoing, addressing you as “matey,” or making odd, grumbly gargling noises. But there’s trouble ahead for some pirates. One of the producers of The Expendables 3 says he will individually hunt down every one of the 10 million people who illegally downloaded the movie online. The movie was leaked prior to its release in theaters, a leak that Avi Lerner says cost $250 million in lost revenue. “I want to protect our property and the thousands of people who made our movie,” Lerner tells Variety. “We want to go after those 10 million people.”
Millennium Films has reportedly sent letters to individuals who downloaded the movie, threatening legal action. While other studios have gone after large-scale piracy, prosecuting individuals generally brings bad PR. But Lerner is pressing ahead regardless, and has sent over 500,000 “unauthorized use notices” so far. According to the A.V Club, Lerner calls the executives who refuse to prosecute individual downloaders “cowards” and says, “We want to stop this. We want to show the world that by downloading the movie they might get punished.” His plan is to ask downloaders for settlements, with threats of further damages and legal action if they refuse. Perhaps they can come to some sort of arrangement: the pirates make a settlement, and Lerner stops making terrible Expendables movies.