"Potter" pirates fail to copy film to Net

File swappers have apparently tried and failed to use their technical wizardry to copy a pirated version of Warner Bros.' newest "Harry Potter" movie to the Internet before its Friday theatrical release.

Warner Bros. said Tuesday that it opened a copy of "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" the company discovered in a hard-to-find location on the Internet, and found it to be an empty decoy.

A company statement said the report it received about a pirated copy of the newest Potter film showing up on the Web turned out to be unsubstantiated. Warner Bros. had said earlier that the copy it had discovered was of poor quality.

Industry experts said that having a film leaked to the Web before its opening is not unusual, but rather the norm these days, especially with highly anticipated films such as "Spider-Man" and episodes of the "Star Wars" series.

Market research firm Viant Media estimates that up to 500,000 film files a day are traded on the Web through file-sharing services such as Kazaa and Morpheus.

The "Harry Potter" film, which reportedly cost more than $125 million to make, was viewed by British audiences in sneak previews over the weekend before the movie's wider release Friday, leading some to think that a pirated version could have been made then.

News source: CNet News

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