FBI Arrests Wolverine Leaker; Don't You Feel Safer Now?

from the tax-dollars-at-work dept

Much of the reasoning behind Joe Biden's recent summit with entertainment industry bosses and a variety of top administration officials -- including the Attorney General and the head of the FBI -- was to "coordinate" enforcement efforts. Efforts, one assumes, like the FBI's hard work in tracking down and arresting the guy who put a pre-release version of the movie Wolverine online, even though it was lacking in special effects and final audio. As we noted at the time, there were many ways that the studio could have responded to the leak that made them look cool and would have encouraged more people to go see the real movie. Instead, 20th Century Fox went ballistic about how evil this was, and got the FBI to act as its private police force. Of course, despite how this leak "ruined" the movie, Wolverine (despite mostly dismal reviews) had a massive opening and went on to earn $180 million at the box office, significantly more than it's $130 million budget. But, of course, the movie industry is dying, and our tax payer money should be used to track down the guy who did so much "damage."

Filed Under: box office, copyright, leaks, piracy, wolverine
Companies: fbi

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  1. icon
    vivaelamor (profile), 16 Dec 2009 @ 4:17pm

    Re: Need to correct the law.

    Yes, that sentiment is most commonly referred to as the harm principle. The harm principle cannot be applied in forethought though. Accepting for a moment that not making enough money might be considered harm, there would be no way that the accused in this case could have made that judgement about his actions. The harm principle better applies to issues such as drug usage and sexuality, so called victimless crimes.

    You can of course argue that copyright infringement is a victimless crime and apply the harm principle to it in that way, but not by measurement of the success of a film. In applying that measurement you admit that there was a potential for harm in the first place.

    I do believe that copyright infringement in most common cases is a victimless crime, not because people are often successful despite it but because withholding your money should not be considered harmful when no exchange has taken place or contract been entered into.

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