The following statement was sent to us by 20th Century Fox in response to yesterday's story:
"Last night, a stolen, incomplete and early version of X-Men Origins: Wolverine was posted illegally on a website. It was without many effects, had missing and unedited scenes and temporary sound and music. We immediately contacted the appropriate legal authorities and had it removed. We forensically mark our content so we can identify sources that make it available or download it. The source of the initial leak and any subsequent postings will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law – the courts have handed down significant criminal sentences for such acts in the past. The FBI and the MPAA also are actively investigating this crime. We are encouraged by the support of fansites condemning this illegal posting and pointing out that such theft undermines the enormous efforts of the filmmakers and actors, and above all, hurts the fans of the film."
We appreciate their comment on the situation, and you can read the original story below.
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Right now, everything you read about the financial situation in Hollywood is doom and gloom. Studios are laying staff off. Production companies are losing long-standing development deals. Hedge funds are running for the hills. DVDs are dying. No one wants BluRay. If you were to believe every negative thing written, the industry is seemingly days away from shutting down altogether.
Of course, that's not really the case. But it's certainly what you'd think if you only listened to the worst of what's being reported. One of the questions being asked over and over is "What is the real financial impact of piracy?" And since piracy means different things on different films, that's a hard question to answer.
20th Century Fox is about to have an interesting practical test on one of their biggest summer films. "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" leaked online today in what appears to be a near-finished DVD quality rip, marred only by a few unfinished FX shots. As soon as files go up, they're coming right back down as Fox legal chases pirates around the web, but that toothpaste is out of the tube, gentlemen. And that sucks.
[more after the jump]