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You can click, but you can't hide!
May 20, 2005 13:15 IST
Illegal versions of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith, the latest Star Wars episode, were released on the Internet at least a day before its official release, reports the Financial Times.
'One computer security consultant said that at least 1,500 copies were being shared on eDonkey, one of the most popular peer-to-peer file-sharing networks. More ominously, the movie was also detected on the new BitTorrent network, which enables users to more rapidly download large video files,' the article said.
According to the Financial Times, some copies had a time stamp, indicating they were 'harvested from an internal work-print as opposed to a person camcording the film from a theatre screen.'
The Star Wars Special!
An Associated Press article, quoting box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations, said, Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith raked in an estimated $16.5 million from 2,900 midnight screenings yesterday. That's double what the Oscar-winning film, The Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King took during its midnight showings in 2003.
Star Wars is the most-searched for film online. It is more popular than the current British box-office hit, Kingdom Of Heaven or the kids' favourite, Harry Potter, said webuser.co.uk, a British Internet magazine, citing Internet traffic monitor, Hitwise.
Hitwise's data shows that out of the top 10 search terms for specific movies, four relate to the Star Wars film.
The final chapter in George Lucas' six-film saga chronicles Anakin Skywalker's transformation from hero to villain Darth Vader.
The film may be the darkest chapter in the Star Wars story, featuring more violence, and a storyline showing how a democratic Government turns into a despotic regime.
Show off your Star Wars knowledge
The Financial Times, quoting industry estimates, said Hollywood lost about $3.5 billion to piracy last year. Hollywood executives are said to be concerned that the deterence factor -- of movies taking much longer to download than music -- is being eroded by BitTorrent and other technologies.
'There is no better example of how theft dims the magic of the movies' the article quoted Dan Glickman, head of the Motion Picture Association of America, as saying about Revenge Of The Sith.
However, he warned: 'You can click, but you can't hide.'