Summit Entertainment Sues Fans Who Tweeted Images From Upcoming Twilight Flick

from the really? dept

We've noted in the past that movie studio Summit Entertainment is more aggressive than most at going after just about anyone it thinks is violating its intellectual property -- especially when it comes to its flagship Twilight franchise. Apparently, some photos from the set of the latest installment of the film were leaked and got passed around online. Note: this wasn't video, just still photos. It's hard to see how or why anyone could be too upset about that. Having those photos passed around would seem like a nice sign of how much fans are anticipating the film. Initially, the folks behind the film (along with book author Stephenie Meyer -- who at one point seemed to get this stuff) put out a statement asking people to stop sharing the images:
As some of you may know, pictures and screen grabs of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn as a work in progress have leaked on the internet. We are extremely proud of this film and also extremely heartbroken to see it out there at this stage.

The film and these images are not yet ready or in their proper context. They were illegally obtained and their early dissemination is deeply upsetting to the actors, the filmmakers and Summit who are working so hard to bring these movies to fruition to you in November 2011 and November 2012.

Please, for those who are posting, stop. And please, though the temptation is high, donít view or pass on these images. Wait for the film in its beautiful, finished entirety to thrill you.
As these things go, that's not too bad. It's a little ridiculous to claim that some photos of a movie getting passed around is "deeply upsetting" to everyone involved in the film, but it's a heartfelt plea, not entirely unlike some suggestions we've made for other studios.

However, it appears that it wasn't just a heartfelt plea going on. While they were appealing to people agreeing to stop sharing the photos, Summit was also filing a lawsuit against 10 John Does accused of sharing the images via Twitter. The lawsuit is so that the company can subpoena Twitter to try to get the identities of those individuals.

Honestly, the whole thing seems insane. These people like your movie and they can't wait to see it or get any information about it. That's a good thing. Nothing in the photos takes away from the movie or hurts the movie. Suing your fans, however for expressing how much they love the film? Yeah, that can hurt a film...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 1:16pm

    Not in their "proper context"?

    What the hell does that mean? Did somebody fail to blow up their cellphone photo to poster size and tack it on their wall?

     

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  2.  
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    The eejit (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Not in their "proper context"?

    Come on, this is Twilight. There is no proper context.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 1:22pm

    Wait wait.... it hurt the ACTOR'S feelings because many people are seeing them on the film that was shot and shown to a smaller group of people? Did they not get virtual airbrushed with CGI in those shots or something? Poor actors just wanting to not be seen on the movie they are working on.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 1:24pm

    If Summit Entertainment doesn't want anyone seeing their movies, I suppose that there's a simple solution to that problem.

     

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  5.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: Not in their "proper context"?

    Is "on fire" considered context?

     

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  6.  
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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 1:32pm

    Boycott!

    Well I for one will be boycotting the upcoming Twilight movie. Not necessarily because of Summit's douchebaggery, but more because I'm not a tweenage girl.

     

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  7.  
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    Overcast (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 1:48pm

    Suing your fans, however for expressing how much they love the film? Yeah, that can hurt a film...

    Indeed, it's asinine. At best.

     

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  8.  
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    GunSheep (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 1:55pm

    Jeeze, how many movies can you make about vampires and werewolves playing with their food? That's what it's about right?

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 2:00pm

    Re:

    If you can qualify sparkly teenagers as vampires, then yeah.

     

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  10.  
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    TechDan (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 2:05pm

    "Wait for the film in its finished entirety."


    Fixed.

     

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  11.  
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    annamorphos, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 2:09pm

    this has officially gotten old

    This isn't the first time Summit has pulled this crap. They're suing as many people as possible! They sued a girl for making replicas of Bella Swan's jacket. (True, the girl broke copyright laws in her listing, but still). This is so retarded!

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 2:16pm

    I'm just glad I don't need to watch the movie now that a few still images are out. Not that I felt the need to watch it before, but now I REALLY don't need to.

     

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    A True Twi-Fan, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 2:31pm

    I am a twifan to the Max but, I highly dissagree with summit wanting to sew fans. It's not that big of a deal - happens all the time. It didn't really ruin the film- I think it made people more excited to see it.

     

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  14.  
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    twihard!, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 2:45pm

    they deserved it!

    i think summit did the right thing. after all it IS copyright infringement and NOONE except summit is allowed to publish it! come on people its basically STEALING something! now dont tell me you wouldnt hate someone if they published your PERSONAL SECRET DIARY stories or something like that! i mean OFCOURSE the actors feel hurt...its their baby in a way and they dont want to spoil the fun beforehand!

     

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  15.  
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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 2:49pm

    Re:

    Yeah, I agree that they shouldn't sew their fans either. We saw how well that worked out in the Human Centipede.

     

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  16.  
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    V_Ann, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 2:53pm

    If anyone bothered to read the article it says: "The lawsuit is so that the company can subpoena Twitter to try to get the identities of those individuals." They're not suing these people for money. Second, the people posting the images were not fans. They were hackers taunting fans thinking that somehow they were spoiling the plot by releasing the pictures.

    I saw one of the main accounts posting the pictures and their comments towards the fandom and the movie itself were appalling. This was just the act of some hacker and troll who thought they were hurting the fans. That's not the case, fans loved what they saw, but if Summit wants to take legal action against these hackers, it's their right.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 3:14pm

    Re:

    100% in agreement with you Ann!

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 3:32pm

    Re:

    Spoil the plot with a single image to a bunch of fans who have, oh I don't know, already read the books?

    Does the image show Bella being eaten by a Monster Truck? No? Then what exactly is being spoiled here?

     

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  19.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 3:44pm

    Re:

    If anyone bothered to read the article it says: "The lawsuit is so that the company can subpoena Twitter to try to get the identities of those individuals." They're not suing these people for money. Second, the people posting the images were not fans. They were hackers taunting fans thinking that somehow they were spoiling the plot by releasing the pictures.

    They're suing to get the identities, and then those identities get swapped into the lawsuit.

    So, yes, they are suing those individuals. It's not "just" to find out their names.

    And how do photographs ruin a plot... especially of a movie based on a book that most of those fans have already read?

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 4:50pm

    Tolkein? Twilight?
    What is it about fantasies with the letter T?

     

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  21.  
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    Party Pooper (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 6:21pm

    let's be honest...

    If I robbed a bank and decided to donate the money to charity I'd still be prosecutied. Stolen property is stolen property. No matter how much whining you do it doesn't erase the fact that hacking into someone's email and stealing their password to a site that holds dailies (intellectual property) is against the law. Multiple studios right now are suing, it's not just Summit. Just saying.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 7:55pm

    Re: they deserved it!

    I really, really hope this is a joke post.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 8:52pm

    Re: Re:

    "The titanic sinks"

    Ruins movie for everyone waiting to see it.

     

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  24.  
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    V, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 9:35pm

    Copyright?

    So... someone - other than Summit Entertainment - took the photographs.... aren't the photographs copyright of the photographer?

    So what basis do they have for suing them?

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 9:48pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "The Allies won."

    Holy shit! You're right!

     

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  26.  
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    caroline, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 11:18am

    Shame on Summit!

    Seriously Summit? What is wrong with you? First, leave the fans alone! Use your millions upon millions of dollars that FANS generated in seeing the movie and find the HACKERS!! Not the retweeters!
    Second, start using those millions upon millions of dollars to protect your material from getting hacked!!! Take responsibility for you part in this. You have way too much money for this to have happened. Third, leave alone the innocent fans who DID NOT hack into your unprotected computer, but saw them on the VERY PUBLIC internet and send them to other fans.
    Fourth, if you want fans in the future DO NOT enlist them to do your dirty work in finding the hackers, then turn around and sue the very fans that were trying to be helpful.
    Fifth--Shame on you Summit!!

     

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  27.  
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    Idobek (profile), Apr 26th, 2011 @ 9:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Not in their "proper context"?

    Also, beheading, stake through the heart and silver bullets... oh wait, "context". Never mind.

     

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  28.  
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    Carol, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 4:06pm

    T****T pics leaked

    I was afraid to use the actual title of the film in my subject for fear of getting sued.

     

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  29.  
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    Party Pooper, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 10:56pm

    Re: Copyright?

    ummm NO. Stephanie Myer's email was hacked and they got her password to the website that Summit decided to post the dailies on. SM's a producer. The leaked pics were stills of footage, hence the LQ and grainy look. Again it's call intellectual property and to steal it is against the law. I don't like Summit but fact is fact.

     

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  30.  
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    Tai, May 5th, 2011 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re:

    It wasnt a single photo...not at all, it was hundreds of pics. They were not official stills that were leaked, someone hacked it saw video and took pictures of the screens. It was countless photos of the major plot points in both movies as well as photos of the actors in a fitting room doing wardrobe tests.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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