Summit sues anonymous pirates for posting 'New Moon' online

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Summit sues anonymous pirates for posting 'New Moon' online

Mon Nov 30, 2009 @ 10:13AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

New.Moon.poster Summit Entertainment is certainly pleased that "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" is approaching the $500 million mark in global boxoffice. But the film has also become a hot commodity in piracy circles.

On Thanksgiving eve, lawyers for the studio filed a lawsuit against unidentified individuals who allegedly uploaded the film to YouTube (UPDATED: Summit tells us the uploaded footage was a portion of the film used in promotional spots). Summit also requested that a California district court issue a subpoena to YouTube for information relating to the identification of those allegedly responsible for uploading the movie. Here's a copy.

Soon after the video was posted, Summit informed the video-sharing website of the presence of "New Moon" on its servers. The movie was taken down.

In the past, YouTube has complied with subpoenas related to user uploads. For example, in 2007, after a court issued a subpoena, YouTube helped Fox identify two individuals who had uploaded entire episodes of the show "24." It's unclear whether YouTube will fight Summit's latest request for information. The company hasn't responded to our request for comment.

In addition to breaking boxoffice records, last week "New Moon" also became the most pirated movie on BitTorrent. The studio is represented in the case by Dennis Wilson at Keats McFarland & Wilson.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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