Remember the beginning of the year? I know it was a long time ago, but around a month before X-Men Origins: Wolverine hit cinemas, a workprint for the film hit the internet and is believed to have been downloaded at least 15 million times.
Understandably, this got 20th Century Fox’s panties in a twist and the FBI launched a full investigation into who had first put the movie online. Initially it was thought it wouldn’t take long to find the answer, as only a limited number of people had access to the film before its release, but it’s taken until now for an arrest to be made.
The FBI took Bronx resident Gilberto Sanchez into custody yesterday and charged him as the man who allegedly illegally uploaded a pirated copy of the movie to megaupload.com. However it appears the studio still doesn’t know how he got hold of a copy, so it may well turn out that the matter doesn’t end here, as the feds will presumably be trying to trace the film back to the person who first let it slip out of Fox’s hands.
Although it’s not known how much the piracy incident cost Wolverine at the box office, it’s believed to stretch into the tens of millions, especially as the downloaded copy caused a fair amount of bad buzz, despite the fact it wasn’t the completed movie. It is seen as by far the most damaging case of movie pracy yet. If found guilty, Sanchez faces three years in jail and a fine.