Ellen Degeneres: Pirate Enabler? Her Watermarked Copy Of 'Walter Mitty' Leaks Online

from the who-knew? dept

Each year, Andy Baio tracks the online leaking of various screeners for Oscar-nominated films. He apparently just noticed something interesting. On Thursday, a screener for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, the new Ben Stiller flick, leaked online. That happens. But, there appears to be a massive watermark indicating that the screener copy belonged to talk show star Ellen Degeneres.
Baio notes the likely possibilities:
There's a chance, albeit small, that this watermark was added by someone besides 20th Century Fox — by someone trying to hide the identity of the actual source, maybe.

More likely, the watermark is accurate and Ellen's screener simply ended up in the wrong hands. A postal worker, one of her employees, friend, family member, or countless others in the production and distribution chain could be responsible for ripping the DVD and putting it online.
Indeed, one of those possibilities is the most likely answer, as it's extremely doubtful that Degeneres herself suddenly decided to make a bit of a name for herself in the warez scene. Either way, I'm sure that 20th Century Fox and/or the MPAA enforcement division of the local FBI can now more easily track down the history of how this all got online. I'm sure that large sums of money will be spent tracking it down... without anyone stopping to think that the fact that this is online is unlikely to make even the slightest difference in the eventual revenue for the film, which currently has a 48% approval rating on RottenTomatoes. The film was going to leak online sooner or later no matter what. Does it really matter where it came from?

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  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 13 Jan 2014 @ 1:13am

    Re: Re: Yes, actually, it does matter

    "Aside from knowing that this was a copy specifically sent to Ellen, we have no idea if (a) she ever got it, (b) if it came from her copy and not a duplicate made at the time it was created, and (c) perhaps one or more of the people who might have access to her material borrowed it."

    I seen nothing in TOG's post that refutes that idea. But that wasn't the point he was making. All of the above could apply equally to anybody else identified in this way. However, I suspect that you'd be one of the ones baying for blood rather than allow that they could be innocent - the exact point being made. If DeGeneres isn't going to face the full consequences that would face a lesser-known person, it's a double standard.

    However:

    "piracy apologists"

    Stop with the lying and name-calling. Making wild attacks on people you've never met, using absolutely zero evidence of any wrongdoing on their part will just make you look like a lying ass.

    This argument would be so much easier if people like you didn't feel the need to defend a broken industry at all costs and lie about people who question them. The point being made above is simple - DeGeneres appears to be allowed greater benefit of the doubt and less likelihood to face legal consequences than a lesser-known person would in the same circumstances. Why not address this actual argument, rather than the strawmen you constructed here?

    "always want to be able to say "SODDI" - some other dude did it"

    Wasn't that exactly what you were trying to argue in the first part of your post I quoted? It's hilarious to see someone try to deflect criticism of someone whose copy was pirated by blaming someone else, then attack people for using the very argument you just used. Logical consistency is as important as sticking to the facts if you want to be taken seriously - try it.

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