The massive file-sharing lawsuit filed against more than 20,000 pirates of last year’s movie The Expendables—one of the biggest copyright lawsuits in history—has been dropped by the plaintiff, following intervention by the judge in the case. But that doesn’t mean that anyone who torrented the movie can sleep easy just yet.
Nu Image, the company behind the lawsuit, voluntarily dismissed charges against all of the anonymous defendants in its massive class action suit against 23,322 people who’d used Bit Torrent to download the Sylvester Stallone hit from 2010 following DC District Court Judge Robert Wilkins’ decision to force them to either prove that the defendants all lived in his jurisdiction or else be dropped from the suit. According to Nu Image’s attorney Thomas Dunlap, however, this is more of a regrouping than a retreat.
Instead of abandoning the suit altogether, Nu Image plans to take Judge Wilkins’ comments into consideration and replace one massive lawsuit with multiple smaller suits, making sure to match defendants with their estimated location based on IP address. According to Dunlap, this also makes the cases more attractive to individual judges, as it means the discovery process is likely to be more manageable.
Even more worrying for pirates, Dunlap also confirmed that Nu Image plans to file similar lawsuits against people who have downloaded illegal versions of The Mechanic, Drive Angry and Conan The Barbarian. Pirates of less macho movies are being left for other companies to pursue, it seems.
Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.