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Movie industry to sue file sharers

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Taking a cue from recording companies, Hollywood movie studios are preparing to file copyright infringement lawsuits against computer users it says are illegally distributing movies online, a source familiar with the studios' plans said Wednesday.

The lawsuits will target movie fans who share digitized versions of films over peer-to-peer networks, with the first wave of litigation planned for as early as Thursday, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Like the recording industry, which began suing individual music file-sharers last year, the movie studios plan an ongoing litigation campaign, the source said.

The Motion Picture Association of America, which represents the major film studios, declined to comment Wednesday. But the organization issued a release saying its chief executive would be making ``a major announcement regarding illegal file sharing of motion pictures on peer-to-peer networks'' early Thursday.

The movie studios were still finalizing how many lawsuits would make up their initial filing, but it would probably be around 200 or so, the source said.

Videotaped copies of films in theaters often are digitized or burned off DVDs and then distributed on file-sharing networks.

The MPAA claims the U.S. movie industry loses more than $3 billion annually in potential global revenue because of physical piracy, or bogus copies of videos and DVDs of its films.

The MPAA doesn't give an estimate for how much online piracy costs the industry annually, but claims the health of the industry is at stake as the copying and distribution of movies online continues to grow unabated.

Along with the recording industry, movie studios have tried to shut down companies behind file-sharing software through litigation with little success.

The movie industry has also tried to battle piracy by running ads in movie theaters and elsewhere designed to dissuade people from file-sharing films by stressing the risks of identity theft and liability.

Up to this point, the studios have stopped short of taking legal action against individuals.

Hmm.... I think we had someone this forum who wanted to do this.. i dont remember who it was.. well here you go.. have fun.. I do have one thing to say.. How the HELL do they charge 21.99 for a freakin piece of plastic!? Maybe lower the price and then it would stop! Hell I dont buy a movie until the price had gone down about $7... Or offer a legal download from the studio.. The other thing is that if you dont want your shit ripped off.. then not let people bring their camcorders into the theator.. dumbass...

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