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 Expendables 3, presumably with extreme prejudice. Avi Lerner believes that the leak of a DVD-quality torrent of the film weeks before its theatrical release date cost him and his colleagues a quarter of a billion dollars in revenue—a quarter of a billion dollars he has vowed to avenge. “I want to protect our property and the thousands of people who made our movie,” Lerner tells Variety, presumably while strapping on a bandolier and smearing eye black on his cheeks. “We want to go after those 10 million people.”
Lerner’s Millennium Films has already taken the unusual step of sending unauthorized use notices to individual IP addresses, a strategy that has been abandoned by major movie studios and the MPAA. 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. Lerner also says that he personally will not receive any money from the settlements, and he and Millennium are trying to decide where it should go.
Millennium Films has sent about 550,000 letters in the last week; Lerner says he has IP addresses for millions more and “we will carry on until we get everyone.” So tonight, when you’re sitting at your computer surveying your ill-gotten Pirate Bay gains, don’t get too comfortable. Because Avi Lerner is out there, and he’s pissed, and he wants to send you a letter.