Days before it opens in theaters, the first thirty-six minutes of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Part 1 has leaked online. A strange attempt at viral marketing, or an embarrassing leak?
According to Warner Bros, it's definitely the latter: "This constitutes a serious breach of copyright violation and theft of Warner Bros. property. We are working actively to restrict and/or remove copies that may be available. Also, we are vigorously investigating this matter and will prosecute those involved to the full extent of the law," the studio said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter. But the fact that it's only the first half hour of the movie and not the full thing strikes me as particularly odd; was there some reason that the full thing didn't make it onto torrent sites along with the opening? Is it possible that, whoever actually did this, only put the first 36 minutes online in a misguided attempt to drive traffic to theaters this weekend to see how it ends?
Investigations are still ongoing into the source of the leak, no doubt made more difficult by the fact that prints have already been released to theaters in anticipation of Thursday's midnight opening.