Forget Colonel Stryker or even Deadpool, Wolverine’s most terrifying foe is SkillyGilly. Actually, that’s just one of four usernames Gilberto Sanchez could have used to post a workprint of X-Men Origins: Wolverine to the file sharing website Megaupload.com.
Back in April, exactly a month before the film was scheduled to hit theaters, a bootleg copy ran rampant across the Internet. According to CNet, after having been indicted in Los Angeles last week, 47-year-old Sanchez was arrested at his home in the Bronx early Wednesday morning because, as stated in the indictment, he “did willfully infringe the copyright of a copyrighted work by the distribution of a work being prepared for commercial distribution, by making the motion picture X-Men Origins: Wolverine available on www.Megaupload.com, a computer network accessible to members of the public, when he knew and should have known that the work was intended for commercial distribution.”
Moviegoers may look to the X-Men to save the day, but Fox is very grateful for the actions taken by the FBI. A Fox spokeswoman said, “We're supportive of the FBI's actions” and “We will continue to cooperate with law enforcement officials to identify and prosecute those who illegally steal our creative content.” That being said, Sanchez’s arrest doesn’t mean the case is closed.
Sanchez could be the man responsible for making the material available to the public, but how’d he get it in the first place? Someone else could be the primary source. Still, Sanchez’s actions come with some pretty hefty consequences. “If convicted, Sanchez faces up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine or twice the gross gain or gross loss attributable to the offense, whichever is greater.” I can’t imagine how it’ll be possible to estimate the gross gain or loss considering that’s what made the incident so controversial to begin with.
Bootlegging is wrong on a number of levels, but Fox’s main concern was the leak’s affect on the film’s performance at the box office. Did some people really opt out of seeing Wolverine in the theater because they watched the workprint or did the leak actually act as free advertisement driving more moviegoers to check out the film? If the answer to that question can ever be answered, it probably involves analytics that are way over my head.
Staff Writer for CinemaBlend.
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