4:15 pm EST, November 6, 2014

Marvel subpoena Google in attempt to trace ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ trailer leak

Marvel have decided to subpoena Google after The Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer leak was traced back to a user via their Google Drive account. Are leaks a good or bad thing in the film industry?

Promotional leaks are a common occurrence in the movie industry, but it’s not everyday that we hear about a studio actively going after someone who has leaked footage from an upcoming film, or in this case, an entire trailer in fairly high quality.

THR reports that Marvel are going after a Google Drive user named “John Gazelle,” who reportedly posted a file of the film’s trailer on their account October 22. Marvel believes it may have an in-house leaker on The Avengers: Age of Ultron team, and has gone to a California federal court to subpoena Google for more information regarding this user’s details.

This move brings up a lot of questions in terms of leaks in the movie industry. It’s very common to receive a takedown notice for promotional material which is released early, but a leak of this size must have Marvel concerned that they have an irresponsible employee amongst them.

The day that The Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer was leaked, Disney’s lawyers sent a takedown notice to Google to bring down the file which was on this specific user’s account. The company is now going after the IP address of the Google Drive user they believe is responsible for the leak, and are attempting to gain details of their YouTube and Google+ accounts as well.

Not only are Marvel concerned about the leaked trailer, but also a leaked clip between Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans where they chop wood outside of what appears to be a farmhouse. The studio believes that there is a link between the two leaks, but this is unlikely considering the trailer was essentially HD, while the clip was filmed with what is most likely a phone camera.

Related: Watch The Avengers: Age of Ultron official trailer

The fact is leaks have become commonplace in the film industry, but Marvel/Disney apparently believe that this reported leak could cause their highly anticipated film damage in the future. The question is, do leaks actually harm a film as big as The Avengers‘ sequel?

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After Marvel officially released the trailer, it became their most viewed trailer ever. Iron Man 3 had held the record previously, but Age of Ultron nearly tripled the amount of views with 34.3 million viewers within 24-hours. Did the massive buzz generated by the leak cause the trailer to become Marvel’s most watched? It’s very possible that without this leak the trailer wouldn’t have been seen by nearly as many people.

Of course the trailer was always going to be massively popular, as The Avengers: Age of Ultron may be the most anticipated film of 2015. So we’ll never know whether the buzz generated by the leak helped Marvel or not, but they’re clearly not letting this leak slide, and this will be something that will most likely end up with someone unfortunately being fired for making a poor decision.

Leaks will continue to happen in the film industry, and some studios will take them in stride and enjoy the benefits, if there are any, and some companies will seek to find the culprit and attempt to prevent them in the future.

Obviously there are a variety of leaks which occur, and an entire film leaking is entirely different than a trailer hitting the web early, but we’re curious just how much it hurts or helps a film when a leak like this does happen.

For now, we’ll keep an eye on what happens with this specific leak, but we’re interested what fans have to say about leaks in general. Do they hurt the promotional experience that you hope to have with a movie or are you excited when a trailer or some promotional material leaks early?

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