While San Diego Comic-Con is over, the movie studios are still dealing with its fallout. After having cell phone footage leak of exclusive content, studios are finding different ways to fight the piracy.
Put a bunch of people in a room with their phones and show them exclusive footage and there is no doubt that the footage will be leaked on the Internet before the panel is over. This past weekend, you may have seen shaky cam footage of new material from some big upcoming movies and the studios have decided to deal with the piracy in different ways.
Beat the Pirates to the Punch. Lucasfilm showed off a behind-the-scenes video for the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie and WB showed off the newest Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer. Instead of a bad quality leak hitting the Net, the two studios released the footage just after the panels ended. This approach cut down on the piracy but people who waited hours to get into panels and see exclusive footage may have felt cheated because the world got to see it anyway.
Stop Fighting the Piracy. WB also showed off a trailer for the Suicide Squad movie that was not ready for general release yet. When the footage leaked, WB fought back. WB issued a statement: “We have no plans currently to release the Suicide Squad footage that leaked from Hall H on Saturday. It’s unfortunate and ultimately damaging that one individual broke a long-standing trust we have enjoyed with our fans at the convention by posting early material, which, at this point, was not intended for a wider audience. We are still in production on* Suicide Squad*, and will have a big campaign launch in the future.” WB sent DMCA takedown notices due to copyright infringement to have the footage removed from websites but eventually stop trying to suppress the leak. Suicide Squad director, David Ayer, tweeted out a high quality version of the trailer with the statement “Shame our sneak peek Hall H footage was leaked. #notcool it’s unfair to the fans who waited in line. And not how I intended folks to see it.”
Fight the Piracy.** **Fox is dealing with similar problems with leaked footage from the still in production Deadpool and *X-Men: Apocalypse *movies. In the case of the Apocalypse footage, the scenes were just shot and do not contain special effects. The footage has not and will not be officially released at this time and Fox is busy trying to have the pirated footage taken down. This involves sending hundreds of DMCA takedown notices to sites such as YouTube and it is still almost impossible to get down ever copy of the footage.
The big question moving forward is: will studios no longer bring exclusive footage to the Cons? There is a tough balance for studios who want to generate early buzz for a movie as opposed to wanting to keep control over the release of content. In the case of many of these trailers there was a lot of excitement built up but for movies like X-Men: Apocalypse, released without special effects, people complained about the look of Apocalypse and thus created negativity for the movie.  Studios like Marvel backed out of San Diego Comic-Con this year and it would be a shame if all this piracy lead to other studios doing the same.
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