Citing lost box office sales that are “impossible to calculate,” a California federal judge has issued an order to stop the operators of several websites from distributing stolen copies of the upcoming film “The Expendables 3.” The movie, distributed by Lions Gate Films, is scheduled to be released on Friday, but a pirated DVD-quality copy already had been downloaded more than 2.2 million times as of Aug. 1, according to court filings. In granting a preliminary injunction to Lions Gate, U.S. District Court Judge Margaret Morrow said in a ruling in Los Angeles last Friday that the defendants “deprived both Lions Gate and many others of revenue that will be impossible to calculate because there is no way of knowing how many people would have paid to see the film” if it weren’t for the copyright infringement. Lions Gate sued the operators of six websites that did not respond to requests to remove the film from their content. They feature Hollywood action stars including Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
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