The producers of Hurt Locker (Voltage Pictures) are suing 5,000 illegal downloaders and demanding a settlement of $1,500 as a penalty for illegally downloading a torrent of their movie. If these people don’t accept the settlement offer, it’s going to Hurt even more as they threaten to go after 10 x the amount if they are put in that position. This is one of the biggest copyright lawsuits ever against individuals. This week, ISPs will be subpoenaed to get the names of the illegal downloaders. Once they have the names & contact info, they’ll be sent letters requesting $1,500 bucks, or be face with a much much bigger penalty.

Hurt Locker leaked 6 months before it’s official US release and people were downloading it at that time. The movie won six Academy Awards, but only grossed just under $17 million. This poor box office cash out is being blamed on the relationship to these illegal downloads.

Do you download movies? Do you think the $1,500 penalty to each of the 5,000 people is fair ($7,500,000)? Do you think this lawsuit will change people’s online behaviors?