Marvel is Actively Hunting Down Whoever Leaked the 'Avengers 2' TrailerMike Sampson |
When the 'Avengers 2' trailer leaked online almost a week ahead of its planned debut during an episode of 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.', Marvel made light of the issue, joked about Hydra being responsible and, wisely, just uploaded an HD copy and let the leak continue. But, that doesn't mean behind closed doors that Marvel wasn't very upset and very concerned. The studio is moving aggressively to track and catch the person responsible for the leak.
While Marvel moved to get an official copy of the 'Avengers 2' trailer online shortly after the leak, they also sent Google a takedown notice for any of the bootleg copies. And, that's not all. Their own internal investigation has revealed that a user named "John Gazelle" posted a file of the trailer on their Google Drive account on October 22. Marvel and Disney have subpoenaed Google to reveal the IP address associated with that user's YouTube and Google+ accounts.
The account in question is no longer available ("Sorry, the file you have requested does not exist.") A "John Gazelle" profile on Google+ still exists (which does discuss upcoming superhero movies), but no mention of 'Avengers 2' or the trailer. [UPDATE: Since our posting, the Google+ page has too been removed.] A ComicBookMovie.com user with a JohnGazelle username viewed eight 'Avengers 2' articles on that site the day the trailer leaked (including articles on leaked images and the leaked trailer). [UPDATE #2: The same user's CBM profile page has also now been removed.] This may not be the same person Marvel is tracking down, but they may eventually get a call from Marvel all the same.
[UPDATE #3: A federal judge has granted Marvel's request for subpoena. Google has been told "You are commanded to produce...all identifying information for the user ‘John Gazelle’." The hearing will take place on November 18 in San Francisco.]
It's unclear what kind of punishment the leaker could be facing, but Gilberto Sanchez, who was convicted of uploading 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine" to a file-sharing site, was sentenced to one year in a federal prison. Leaking a trailer is not quite the same thing as leaking a finished film, but Marvel and Disney take intellectual property theft seriously and will move to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.
While the 'Avengers 2' trailer broke viewing records with its debut, Marvel and Disney won't have much difficulty proving damages. With the trailer planned to launch during a program on ABC, their own network, they lost both ratings and advertiser money for that, and future, episodes.
You can read the full legal documentation below: