Three more days was apparently too long for some “Harry Potter” fans to wait. According to TorrentFreak.com, the first 36 minutes of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1″ leaked online on Tuesday morning, with thousands of fans scrambling to get their hands on the footage before it disappeared.
The movie, which officially opens on Friday, is the first half of the two-part finale of the series, and TorrentFreak reported that even before the leak, it was the most searched for film on a number of torrent sites. While many movies, especially the “Potter” films, eventually find their way online to the torrent sites, where fans can download them for free, the leak of a highly anticipated film like “Potter” is a major concern for studio Warner Bros.
“This constitutes a serious breach of copyright violation and theft of Warner Bros. property,” the studio told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. “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.”
The source of the leak was unknown at press time. Last year’s “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” grossed nearly $1 billion worldwide and was on the list of the most-pirated movies of the year, with more than 8 million illegal downloads.
You can understand why Potter fanatics are so excited about the penultimate film, especially since star Daniel Radcliffe recently told MTV News that “Potter” author J.K. Rowling sent him a text message after last week’s London premiere assuring him that she was not going to write any more books in the series.
“Basically, it amounted to the fact that she felt I had been very good in this ‘Harry Potter’ film, and as a reward for that, she wasn’t going to [write] any more ‘Harry Potter’ [books],” Radcliffe said.
Check out everything we’ve got on “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1.”
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