Harry Potter Film Leaked Online

First 36 minutes of Deathly Hallows on file-sharing sites, Warner launches probe
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2010 2:20 AM CST
Daniel Radcliffe is shown in a scene from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," which opens worldwide on Friday.   (AP Photo/Warner Bros., Jaap Buitendijk)

(Newser) – The first 36 minutes of the new Harry Potter movie have been leaked online days before its worldwide theatrical debut, and Warner Bros. officials are on a hunt to find the culprit. The footage made available for download on file-sharing sites like the Pirate Bay was watermarked, meaning it came from one of the prints that the studio has shipped to theaters, critics, and advertising partners around the world, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Warner Bros. is working to remove the illegal copies and says it will "prosecute those involved to the full extent of the law." The studio firmly denies suggestions that it may have leaked the footage deliberately to gain some extra publicity. "This was not leaked by the studio,” said a spokesman. “Harry Potter is the most successful franchise in film history.”

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