Monday, August 1, 2011

Summit Identifies Alleged 'Breaking Dawn' Pirate... Thoughts?

Summit Entertainment has identified and taken legal action against at least one fan, in a group, who released the unfinished, illegally obtained, Breaking Dawn footage/stills that were circulating a few months back.

THR writes:
Summit Entertainment isn't kidding around in its anti-piracy efforts on The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn. The studio today took the unorthodox step of sending out a press release identifying the alleged culprit in a March hacking incident that ended with images of the highly-anticipated vampire romance film circulating on the Internet.

Summit's release ID's Daiana Santia of Argentina as having been involved in a group that stole photos, unfinished images and video of Breaking Dawn, which will be released in two parts beginning in November. Summit's four-continent crusade involved the services of investigation firm Kroll Inc. and law firm Keats McFarland & Wilson, which located Santia and others in the northern Argentina town of Posadas. Civil actions have been filed in the U.S. and Argentina, along with a criminal action in Santia's home country.

“While we very much appreciate the legions of committed fans of the franchise and encourage them to create community online, we cannot ignore that property was stolen,” says David Friedman, Summit's executive vp and general counsel. “It is not fair to the majority of fans that want to see the final chapter of the Twilight Saga film franchise fully realized by the filmmaker and dedicated cast and crew to have these images out and available on the Internet.”

As a fan I think part of the 'online community' is sharing behind the scenes details we can find. I don't think breaking the law is acceptable for the fandom, even when they were filming here in Vancouver I was always careful to stay on public propoerty and obey the rules, as tempting as it was to try and hike through the woods past the gate to the "forbidden meadow" I never have, and never will.

But, even still, I can't believe that studio's with mega-bucks, waste all their time and money to ruin the lives of some fans who took it too far. I do not know this South American gal, but I have met fans from Argentina and Brazil and all over the world and the one thing I know it - they are passionate. Does that mean they should be allowed to break the law?

NO -

But, I think the punishments do not always fit the crime.

I know during filming Summit did not like me much, because I would post photos of sets - before filming, after filming, even sometimes during filming if I could get close enough safely and legally... they said I was "ruining it for everyone"


I think that I was in a position to share cool details of the film making process, which only excited fans further about the film. I think those who did not want to see the photos - did not look...

and those who wanted to see the photos... looked, and got even more xcited about the film.

The whole angle of "ruining it for others" is B.S.

If you do not wish to see, you do not look.

The real reason is, Summit doesn't want anything out there that may take money from their pockets - - - which is B.S.

Fans who see these photos get excited, they keep talking about the film, they get more hyped up to see it... it opens dialouge, communication, sharing, discussion...

It keeps the movie from fading into a less prominent position in our minds.

So what does Summit do to people who cross the line in sharing and promoting and hyping up their film?

Spend money on legal team to find and prosecute the fan.

This wasn't some hacker who got the photos and sold them - or did anything malicious at heart.... this was a fan who crossed the line for the love of a film and a fandom she is part of.

I think it's crap.

Twilight Lexicon writes:
Given that last year Summit Entertainment prosecuted the person who broke into their set photographer’s server and stole all the still images from Eclipse (six leaked online), fans shouldn’t find this latest action too surprising. In the Eclipse case Summit spent several months building a case and tracking the IP addresses attached to the leak. The trail eventually lead to Sweden where the person responsible was found and prosecuted with the full help of that country’s authorities.

Whereas a studio may occasionally turn a blind-eye to limited footage from an event like Comic Con or a pre-screening going online because that was finished product meant for public consumption, they will always go after material that is stolen from what amounts to online breaking and entering.

Other studios have taken similar measures and jail time has resulted from such cases such as the Hugh Jackman Wolverine movie.

So this has happened before, with different studios and circumstances. It wouldbe interesting to compare all the past "crimes" of this nature and the outcomes...

Public Documents reveal more information on this case.

Lexicon also brings up the fact that Hector Santia was not listed in the Summit Press Release. This may be Daiana's husband who the internet is registered under (speculating here) and is therefore listed in the document. John Doe's in the past have been listed because of their involvement in a crime but with internet crimes, often usernames are discovered before the real identities, so legal documents will put "John Doe" until real identities are discovered. This has happened with previous cases, including the Eclipse leaked photo case. Lexicon also points out that Judge Otis D. Wright II is the same judge from Jordan Scott v Stephenie Meyer. Read More details at Twilight Lexicon

So what do you think?


jodi b said...

Personally I agree with you. It is blogs like yours that keep people interested in the movies. The amount of money that Summit is making on this franchise proves that there is a huge public interested, but some of the credit for that interest goes to the bloggers. These forums were one of the first places that I came to for information and to keep my interest going. The public is fickle and the blogs keep us interested....especially with all the space in between movies.
As long as the actions are legal, any information is ok to share, even welcome by the fans. You always have the choice not to look.

BoubieD said...

In some aspects, I agree with you but in others I don't. While some leaked photos do pose as a free marketing plan for any major studio, others ruin the movie experience.

The internet has really changed the game. Ten to fifteen years ago, you could not find spoilers except through legit entertainment channels like ET or magazines like EW. Now, everybody and their momma got a source and news is disseminated in the same way. But in the last ten to fifteen years, the experience of watching a film hasn't changed. We sit in the theater or at home and watch a film with an idea of a story line but nothing to specific. Remember when we would watch a film and not know what happens at the end? Remember the element of surprise? Imagine watching Interview with the Vampire and seeing Kirsten Dunst's death scene on twitter months before it happened. We read the book and we know what happens, but watching that heartbreaking scene outside of the film's context, before it was even finalized in post-production, alters the movie experience completely. It cheapens it.

I remember watching Eclipse for the first time and my favorite scene, to this day, was the first meadow scene because we had NO idea it was coming. That's part of what's so good about the movie experience: the unexpected. With every leak, we don't feel that sense of surprise anymore. I bet there are people who have seen the youtube master clips of all of the photos now and memorized them. So, when they go into the theater in November, they will have a definite idea of how the scenes will run, rather than their imagination to compare the sex scenes to. And when they see the film, they'll spend the entire time running the leaked photos through their minds, rather than enjoying the film. How can anyone enjoy a film that way?

When "the leak" happened, it was so exhilarating. And it's only in retrospect that I realized how wrong the hacker was for doing this. It is literally as if she walked up to a man and stole his wallet. And to regular folks like us, who demonize the studios day in and day out, it's easy to say they have other wallets. They won't miss this one. And many in the fandom think this is not a big deal, but I do.

It's private property that hundreds of people are working on for months for our consumption. It's not a big deal to us because we don't see how much time and effort these people put into these films. And if you know and don't care, I don't know what to say to you. But she stole property. And in my opinion, she should be fined and face other penalties, just like the XMen hacker. The punishment fits the crime. Rumor is she was behind the OTR leaked photos too. If she didn't get caught, she would continue to do this. It was time she ended this.

If someone leaks SWATH I swear, I will be so pissed.

MCvelvetkitten said...

I agree, you always have the choice not to look. But any pictures, videos taken within the leagel limits are okay.

Mandy said...

Thanks for your comments. I see your point of view, but I still feel like looking at the spoilers is a choice. I know many fans and close friends who do not look - they just make that choice. It is a hard choice because you want to know, you are excited, and they are EVERYWHERE - but they choose that for the reasons you list. I have done it both ways. Both have advantages.

If you break the law, you get punished, that much I can agree, but I also think you have to look at the crime and ensure the punishment fits... who was hurt here? Who should suffer the consequences? What would the consquences be otherwise?

I am not a fan of bully studios! Not saying that the hacker should get off free but I will interested to see how thia law suit plays out.