It appears that the first 36 minutes of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (released in under 24 hours!!) was leaked onto the internet. A Warner Bros. spokesman was quoted by Wired.com saying, “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 operator of TorrentFreak.com, “Ernesto” , commented that it “may actually benefit the movie and boost theater attendance, as long as the full version doesn’t leak out too. If the first half-hour is compelling enough, people will have to go to the theater and pay for a ticket to see the rest. It may be going a little bit too far to suggest that Warner Bros. leaked the film intentionally, but from a business perspective it might make sense.”
To be honest I really like his perspective: let’s face it, the people who downloaded the clip are going to see the movie, in fact, they’ve probably already purchased their tickets, so I doubt the leak will do a lot advertising wise. I’m a little impressed that it got leaked at all, the Harry Potter franchise is usually extremely tight on security. I can definitely see why speculation exists about whether or not Warner Bros. released the footage as a marketing tool.
After a little thought (over the time it took type this far) I have decided not to try to check it out, just to keep me experience tomorrow night as “pure” as possible. It’ll be hard, but I think it will be worth it. Have you seen it yet? Or after reading this are you going to feverishly search the internet for it?