How Warner Bros. Should Have Responded To Harry Potter Leak

from the seriously? dept

Not this again. With the news that the the first 36 minutes of the new Harry Potter movie have leaked online, Warner Bros. has gone the traditionally braindead, clueless path of demanding the heads of the leakers:


“Last night a portion of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 was stolen and illegally posted on the internet,” Warner Bros. said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. “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.”

This is, of course, reminiscent to the leak of Wolverine last year — except even more ridiculous on the part of Warner Bros. As we noted when Wolverine leaked, there were plenty of ways that the studio could have responded to this that didn’t involve acting like overprotective children, but instead got fans excited. I came up with a “suggested” response at the time, and I’ll do the same for Warner Bros here (no charge!):


Hey Harry Potter fans! We know how excited you all are for the next installment of the Harry Potter movie series this weekend. We’re pretty excited too. Obviously someone here was so excited that they went and leaked the first 36 minutes of the film online. We didn’t authorize this, and really wished it didn’t happen, but it’s out there. We’re sure many of you will probably want to check it out, but we think that the full movie experience in the theater is really something quite special. If you really must watch the leaked clip, be forewarned: you’re going to have to wait until the end of the week to find out what actually happens, and you’re going to be dying in suspense, so we’d suggest you hang on and see the whole thing in the theater this Friday…

Or something like that. Once again, can you imagine how much better fans would respond to that sort of thing than to the chest-thumping silly threats? Besides, this is only 36 minutes of the movie. A bunch of movie studios have already released the beginnings of various movies to try to get people interested. If I remember correctly, all the way back in 2000 or so, the movie Chicken Run released the first 30 minutes or so to get people to go to the theater and other films have done that as well. So I’m having a really hard time figuring out exactly how this could possibly be bad for Warner Bros.

Well, unless the first 36 minutes absolutely sucks… But if that’s the case, it shouldn’t be about running to the authorities, but to the folks who made the bad movie.

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Companies: warner bros.

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Comments on “How Warner Bros. Should Have Responded To Harry Potter Leak”

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43 Comments
Killer_Tofusays:

Re:

That is exactly what this is. Purposefully leaked. Who only gets 36 minutes of film? If they were going to leak something, it would have been the whole thing. This is promotion they would never admit to because that would be admitting that piracy doesn’t hurt them, and that it can only help. But they cannot admit to that otherwise they lose their false leg they have been standing on when they go crying to congress repeatedly.

btr1701says:

Dawn of the Dead

I remember when the remake of Dawn of the Dead was coming out and the studio released the first 10 minutes of the film as a promotional move. I was skeptical of how good it was going to be and was planning on skipping it, but after watching those 10 minutes, I was impressed enough that it got me into the theater, fast zombies and all.

Joe Averagesays:

Re: Anyone else surprised....

That’s actually a pretty good idea though, I mean what’s really lost if the consumer gets to pick how they watch a movie? A vast majority of the time I already know if I want to watch a movie at the theater before it comes out, so giving me a chance to rent and watch at home would be a great incentive to me to buy a ticket or a copy of the movie outright.

Jessicasays:

I have been shamelessly scouring the internet for any tidbit of info on the film for the past month so when I saw this story last night i did not hesitate to download and watched it several times. Also those 36 minutes end right after they apparate from the wedding so all the really good stuff is yet to be seen. i cannot comprehend how this could possibly hurt the film and prevent anyone from not seeing it. i showed it to my boyfriend who doesnt even follow the films and he now wants to see it in the theaters. so there you go. im not sure if it was intentional or not, but either way it made me want to see the rest of the movie ASAP! i was going to wait until a few days later when the crowds died down, but now i’m desperate to see it on Friday.

Jessicasays:

I have been shamelessly scouring the internet for any tidbit of info on the film for the past month so when I saw this story last night i did not hesitate to download and watched it several times. Also those 36 minutes end right after they apparate from the wedding so all the really good stuff is yet to be seen. i cannot comprehend how this could possibly hurt the film and prevent anyone from not seeing it. i showed it to my boyfriend who doesnt even follow the films and he now wants to see it in the theaters. so there you go. im not sure if it was intentional or not, but either way it made me want to see the rest of the movie ASAP! i was going to wait until a few days later when the crowds died down, but now i’m desperate to see it on Friday.

edsays:

Ummm no they should protect their IP from dirtbag thieves

What they wrote was exactly what they should do. This is grand theft to the nth degree. It’s almost impossible to calculate the damage financially that piracy is causing to the industry and even to the entire economy. So I hope the thieves who get caught get massive fines and jail time depending on that they’ve done. Screw them. Usually the ones who defend or minimize piracy are those that do it and benefit from it because they’re too cheap to buy a ticket or too lazy to get a job.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Ummm no they should protect their IP from dirtbag thieves

Seriously? Really? I see this as promo gold. I am not a Harry Potter fan but I know many rabid fans that will eat this up and us it as fodder to be first in line at the midnight showing.
It’s an extended trailer that will get people excited and buying up all of the Harry Potter stuff they can get.
Even if you and the movie studios are not smart enough to know how to manipulate the fanbase, you really should learn how to take advantage of these situation’s. Instead of killing off the fanbase that funds the industry.
Sheesh. Get a clue please!!

Re: Ummm no they should protect their IP from dirtbag thieves

“It’s almost impossible to calculate the damage financially that piracy is causing to the industry”

It certainly is. However, that doesn’t make it infinite. It could in fact be very little in real terms if you bother to weigh in all the factors. Glad to see one of you people admitting that we can’t really know, however.

As for “too cheap to buy a ticket or too lazy to get a job”, you have such a ridiculously faulty premise it’s not surprising that your industry’s “solutions” to the problem as so harmful to themselves. At least, I assume you’re paid by the industry – nobody’s honestly this clueless, right?

Anonymoussays:

Look, I hate Harry Potter with a burning passion deep inside my soul. I view the people who watch or read that sort of tripe with mild disdain…especially the most rabid of fans (sorry Jessica). I feel superior to them in every way. I keep wishing something would happen to destroy the franchise. This is not that something. This will make the little girls who support this excrement even louder due to the excitement this will end up creating. The person who leaked this should be put in jail.

Jessicasays:

If it was the entire movie that was leaked I would agree that it could damage the industry financially. But…it was only 36 minutes in which about 3 or 4 scenes within those 36 minutes have been released to us already. so really anything “new” was only filler between those scenes. Legally I am sure it should not have been leaked and the person should have consequence, but massive fines and jail time?? I defend it because I dont feel there was any harm done. Seeing this leak will absolutely not make someone NOT buy a ticket. Assuming that anyone who counter argues is cheap or lazy is a cop out to prevent anyone from doing so.

Jessicasays:

While I resent the word “rabid” I have to agree with you. this will only help the film and those of us who are genuinely excited for the movie to come out. i just think its sad whenever someone tries to cut down another person on purpose just because they dont share in same interests. but whatever makes you feel better right? i also find that those who despise the franchise have never read the books. They far outweigh all of the movies altogether. But im not trying to convert anyone. I am merely commenting on the fact that Warner Bros. will not take a hit from this leak. I have a feeling their statement was made only to defend themselves to please the press. I doubt anyone will get prosecuted to the “full extent of the law”. Please.

Anonymoussays:

Re:

Honey, I did read the first book. It was just dreadful. The writing was ridiculous, the storyline was idiotic, and the fake Latin made me cringe. Anyone who enjoys this is an uneducated boob.

I cannot wait until the day that all of these movies are out and this craze is over and done with.

Thank you for agreeing with me on the word “rabid”, even though you resent it.

sivadsays:

Basically the reason they are so upset is this. Imagine someone watching the 36 minute clip online. They decide that it fairly boring and not something they are interested in. That person will not be paying for a ticket when the movie comes out. Warner Bros would much rather you pay your money and THEN decide thew movie sucks. Not the other way around.

RikuoAmerosays:

Re:

That was just what I was planning to write. This could be the only real reason that would make any kind of sense as to why WB are against this.
Sure normal trailers are all well and good, but I for one never watch them, having learned not to trust them to accurately say whether the movie is any good or not. Should I waste my money on a bad product/service, or should I be an informed consumer and find out as much as I can, before laying my money on the table?

Mojosays:

I doubt this is a publicity stunt, only because WB doesn’t NEED to resort to something like this to fill the theaters for a Harry Potter movie. Every magazine on the stands right now has a HP story, buzz is already in the air, “it’s the last movie-itis” is in full swing… They just wouldn’t need to do this.

Someone got ahold of it and leaked it, pure and simple. Even if it was the whole movie, it’s not like it’s going to affect the bottom line – it will still gross at least $500 million worldwide even if a bootleg DVD was dropped on the doorstep of every home in America.

The amount of money WB will lose because of this leak is far less than they will spend in legal costs fighting it.

THAT is usually the irony of these situations.

intervalsays:

Re: Harry

Yeah, the film COULD just plain suck. Doubtful though, I mean unless they blew it this time and hired a useless new pack of morons to produce it… sitting here as a jaded middle-aged man who has little interest in such things as magic wands and flying broom sticks, in general the series isn’t that bad. Of course, its not hard when you have an original story to work from and not the usual schlocky nonsense Hollywood writers crap out.

JTWsays:

Stupify!

I think WB is getting some pretty good guffaws over the free publicity. And if this was a real leak from a nefarious source… it would only seem to work in WB’s favor. I concur with those claiming this is a publicity stunt… unless there’s an actual police report filed. That would bolster the authenticity of the claim since it’s a felony to file a bogus police report.

Alter egosays:

“Last night a portion of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 was stolen and illegally posted on the internet,” Warner Bros. said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. “Due to the theft, the first 36 minutes of the movie are now missing. Cinema-goers are encouraged to hum the Harry Potter theme-music and engage in righteous indignation while they sit out a dark, silent first half-hour.”

Seriously people, can we stop using the word “stolen” when referring to copyright infringement!

Anonymous1says:

Harry Potter SUCKS!
He’s the most useless & stupid (shit) character created.
Harry Potter is scum, dumb moron & arrogant asshole.(His brainless fans, actors & actresses, JK Rowling, etc are weak-minded, sore losers with low IQ)
All of his storybooks, movies, etc are all shit, all dump, garbage, & rubbish.
He must be removed from this face of this planet.
Harry Potter (forever) SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS & SUCKS!

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