You may remember that a while back we reported on the anti-piracy crusade by Expendables 3 producer Avi Lerner, who promised to hunt down the ten million people who downloaded the Sylvester Stallone action romp instead of paying to see it in theaters. “Everyone wants to hide what happened on Expendables 3,” he said recently, “especially the domestic distributors. ‘Don’t talk about it!’ But I’ll tell you there is about $250 million in box office we lost.” While many scoffed at Lerner’s bluster–going after digital pirates is a tricky endeavor–some have taken his threat seriously. In the United Kingdom–which actually has anti-piracy police who roam the high seas/scour the Internet–two people have been arrested for sharing a file of the movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter, “The pair were taken in by U.K. anti-piracy police and are suspected of stealing a high-quality copy of the film from a cloud-based system before uploading it on the Internet.”
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,” detective chief inspector Danny Medlyco told the BBC. “The public need to be aware that piracy is not a victimless crime. By downloading illegal music, film, TV and books, not only are you exposing your own computer to the risk of viruses and malware, but you are also putting hard-working people’s livelihoods at risk as piracy threatens the security of thousands of jobs in the UK’s creative industries.” In the case of the Stallone film, The A.V. Club, clearing its throat like the smartass kid at the back of the class before delivering a zinger, points out that “The Expendables 3 was shot in Bulgaria by American production companies, so presumably the jobs and revenue in question are in exhibition.” Either way, two people are in jail for uploading that over-the-hill-action-heroes-movie that you’re trying to forget.