Everyone knows of the widespread copyright infringement the Internet made possible. And I think most of us are aware that the RIAA and record studios have been the most visible face of copyright infringement lawsuits. But movie studios also sue. I had a friend who got a warning from Stanford several years ago for downloading a movie, presumably prompted by a studio. The IP ADR Blog just wrote a nice post on the continuing efforts to clamp down on copyright infringement. The article describes how saber-rattling has taken a new form: a company/law firm trolls P2P networks for IP addresses of those downloading movies, links up with a studio or filmmaker, sends out subpoenas to the IP address holders, and then ask for settlement cash. A fairly easy, quick, money-making strategy.
The article also points out reluctance by some in the business to pursuing this tactic. Sam Bozzo, an indie film director, says that torrent releases create buzz about a movie, consistent with an article I wrote about a bit ago.