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The Two Towers Hits the Net 893

tfreport writes "The Drudge Report is reporting that The Two Towers has already began to be file swapped online. This is four months before the movie is set to debut! An executive in New York promised if this is indeed part of the film that they would be punishing anyone and everyone that downloads the film or distributes it to the full extent of the law."
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The Two Towers Hits the Net

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  • This isn't good (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    If this is indeed the real film, this isn't good. Piracy online is at least understandable if not excuseable when the movie has been out for 4 months in theatres.

    Now this is crap...
  • Useless (Score:5, Insightful)

    by koh ( 124962 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @08:35AM (#4183383) Journal
    We already know such declarations are not to be taken seriously. What will they do ? Sue 4,500,500 gnutella nodes ?
    • Re:Useless (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      We already know such delcarations are not to be taken seriously. What will they do ? Sue 4,500,500 gnutella nodes ?
      I know that's the perception, but reality can be a different thing. Whenever I've searched the Gnutella network for LOTR, there has never been more than about a dozon and a half hosts carrying film one. Relatively speaking, it would not be difficult for them to track down the people hosting the Twin Towers. Moreover, they probably have software monitoring the network to spot the first appearance of the file(s) in question - they may even be able to track down the perportrator. This threat might just not be hollow.
      • Re:Useless (Score:2, Informative)

        by koh ( 124962 )
        You have a point, and this is getting interesting.

        I've been using a gnutella servent on both win32 and linux platforms for a few months and there's an interesting phenomenon with the popular clients :

        90% of the peers you see are "near" you (on the same continent).

        In the case of gnutella (I don't know about edonkey et al. and I don't want to start a flamewar), the "web" design of the protocol has the client preferably store the most responsive (closest) hosts it encounters, so usually you don't find a japanese machine in your peer when you connect from europe (YMMV, tel me, I'm curious).

        My point is, when you search for LOTR in your gnutella client from the US, you won't find my friend Marcel who just downloaded it in France. Maybe after a 8-day search, maybe not. Maybe he has already deleted/burnt it on CD anyway, so the only proof remaining is a few erroneous search hits to a dynamic IP that will be hard to trace/repress.

        One it's here on the net, it's lost to them. Sorry Hollywood. Lower your prices. There are still guys like me that love going to the movies, but we grow tired. Oh, and ban cellphones too ;)

    • Re:Useless (Score:3, Interesting)

      by acceleriter ( 231439 )
      No, they serve no-knock warrants on two or three each in a few different countries, confiscate everything, jail the users pending trial, sue them and their parents (if applicable). This would be sufficient to scare of 90% of those 4,500,000 Gnutella nodes. And it's going to happen--have you heard the shoe-banging rhetoric Ashcroft's been spouting about NET Act prosecutions? And do you think other Western nations dare not tow the line?
      • Not just confiscate everything, confiscate everything and auction it off before the trial. This is a War, remember, and they've established with the War on Drugs that they're allowed to do that.

      • by Pac ( 9516 ) <> on Monday September 02, 2002 @11:18AM (#4183969)
        We have been waiting for years now for the music and movie industries to completely lose their evil minds and follow the path you suggest.

        Up to now, public awareness of the privacy and freedom problems posed by these two sectors of society is close to inexistent. The general public does not care much about this or that law, as long as some Britney has a new CD every six to nine months and the theaters have some new movies every summer.

        Now, if you start jailing their sons and daughters, confiscating their properties and suing them into poverty for the sake of Disney, Sony and such other oh so poor companies, I believe we will see a backslash these guys won't forget for generations.

        Some suggested the public reaction to the war on drugs should be seem as a sign that nothing will happen yet again. But I think these are two very different issues. Drugs and its criminal status are linked to issues like poverty, racism, mental illness and heavy health hazards. Britney is the opposite of it, as is Mickey Mouse. Jailing people for not paying a few bucks to very rich artists and companies will not be easily sold as a "Save the children" issue. Whose children, will ask John Doe, Hillary's? The Emperor's clothes will get pretty invisible here.

        After that we will probably see the tide that will finnaly make some young executives sit back and start thinking about a new business model capable of keeping the money flowing instead of new laws.
    • Re:Useless (Score:5, Funny)

      by FrostedWheat ( 172733 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @09:18AM (#4183549)
      Judge: Node, you have been found guilty of copyright theft ... hey get back here .. where'd you go?

      Executive: Look! There's another one...

      Judge: *sigh* .. Node, you have ... what's that you say? Ping Timeout??

      Executive: I dunno who this 'Peer' guy is, but he's good at covering up his tracks.
    • by slashnot007 ( 576103 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @10:42AM (#4183832)
      Why is this not theft. why do so many slashdotters think it okay to steal. just because it's easy and all they have to do is push a button does not make it honest or legal. If you knowingly receive stolen goods that is a crime. And you know you are --there is no reasonable defense. and No not it's not sticking it to the "man" or an act of noble protest.

      Why has this anrachaic "free love" notion got perverted in to greedy self absorbed and self justifed crimminal behavior.

      • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @11:12AM (#4183942) Homepage
        1. Your response has nothing to do with the parent post.
        2. A copy of a thing is not the thing. This is not "stolen goods" but "copied information". Stealing a physical item is a criminal act. Making a copy is (perhaps) a breach of copyright, leading to the possibility being sued as a civil action. The DMCA criminalises breaking copy prevention mechanisms to allow copying, but once it's out there as a divx, it's civil.
        3. Some - not all, but some - of us really truly believe that copyright law has been reversed so that it now punishes creators and consumers for the benefit of the very publishers that it was intended to restrict. Given that, and given that it's getting worse rather than better, the only response is civil disobedience. Sticking it to the man, if you like.
        • by Chasuk ( 62477 ) <> on Monday September 02, 2002 @02:09PM (#4184728)
          Your reply is so disingenuous as to be laughable.

          Let us assume, for the moment, that copyright infringement is a perfectly moral thing to do. It isn't theft (and I personally believe that it is, but I am suspending that opinion for this hypothetical example), so the law takes no steps to prevent it occurring. In this hypothetical world, Blockbuster rents you the DVD burner along with The Two Towers. You get the blank DVD media for free if you rent TWO films. They are making money, you are happily making your copies, and no one suffers at all.

          Erm, except for perhaps Peter Jackson, and the hundreds of cast and crew members who spent years laboring to make the film that you didn't pay for. Of course, I'm sure that Ian McKellen and Sean Astin and John Rhys-Davies and Liv Tyler and Cate Blanchett and Christopher Lee are all philanthropists: they don't care that you deprive them of a sizeable percentage of their livelihood.

          If you really don't care that such films are made again, download and copy away. All of the rest of us will be so happy that you are "sticking it to the man" that we won't lynch you in the streets as our own act of civil disobedience when your actions cause such films to no longer be made. Really, we won't.

          If you take something from me without my permission, and against my will, then you are a thief, pure and simple. That "something" doesn't have to be tangible. However, what we are talking about here IS tangible: the profits that you are depriving me of. Or Christopher Lee of. Or Peter Jackson of.

          Any other argument is pure bullshit, even if the perpetrators have lied to themselves, self-brainwashed, I would call it, to justify their theft. Remember, it is possible to justify almost anything if you lack morals and you feel that your need is greater than that of your victims.

          Just my .02 cents.
          • by joss ( 1346 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @02:44PM (#4184876) Homepage
            In the short run, [say, next 30 years or so], you have a point.

            Property itself is an invention of society. IP is a more recent invention. Property rights are enforced for the good of society.

            Property is an essential part of capitalism, one cannot have a functioning capitalist society without strong property rights.

            The concept of IP [copyrights, patents, trademarks] is enforced to bring IP into capitalist framework. It works fairly well, however the fact that IP can be copied for free makes a big difference to the optimal balance that can be achieved.

            Capitalism is successful principally because it is a good mechanism for optimal distribution and use of scarce resources. If the resources aren't intrinsically scarce, introducing artificial scarcity [through IP laws] might not be the best option.

            As the world advances virtually the entire output of society becomes IP. With nanotech and replicators the IP content of material goods will be even more significant component. In such a world, allowing everybody access to all IP would make everybody massively richer.

            Then one is left with the problem of incentive. Without IP laws what incentive is there for people to create new stuff. However, in post scarcity society, one would function in a gift economy anyway. Once basic needs are taken care of people do stuff for sense of worth and status, creative types are not just going to sit on their asses even if IP is abolished.

            For the moment this just seems a bit far out, but in a 100 years it will be obvious [probably]. It helps to understand that this is a desirable direction to move in, even though we're not quite ready for it yet.
      • by Snaller ( 147050 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @11:49AM (#4184121) Journal
        Stealing is taking something of physical substance. This is a copyright violation. And if you think the LOTR freaks are not going to see it N number of times in the cinema because they have already downloade it on the net, then you are an idiot. Little or no harm comes from this, that's why nobody but the greedy care much about this.

        And you missed the point, its the music and movie industry who are the greedy, not the users.

      • they fuck us, we fuck them - I don't really see the problem. Oh, their way is legal, well boo fucking hoo - all that means is that they have the money to have laws written for them, and we don't.
  • 4 months? (Score:5, Funny)

    by digitalsushi ( 137809 ) <> on Monday September 02, 2002 @08:35AM (#4183384) Journal
    I'm sure the thousands and thousands of people who have complete copies of the movie 4 months before its release, right in their desk, are going to be repremanded serverely. I think there will be more blood spilled by the fanatics who dont want any spoilers than there will be via producers of the film.
  • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by echophase ( 601838 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @08:36AM (#4183385)
    Why don't they focus their efforts on finding who leaked it rather than going after the people too anxious to wait till the release (who are likely to go see it when it comes out anyways)?
    • Re:Well... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mirnav ( 572204 )
      That sounds awfully similar to the UK anti-drug policy - go after the dealers, not the users. The thing is that the UK anti-drug policy failed miserably, as evidenced by the 50% decline in the price of hard drugs over the past five years ("The Economist", an issue of the past few months).

      Going after (and hence scaring off) the customers is their only chance. Otherwise, wherever there is demand, there will ALWAYS be supply.

      • What as oppsoed to the massively successful US anti-drug campaign which has utterly failed to stop the flow of drugs AND has put plenty of non-violent people in prison with violent offenders for something that hurt noone but themselves? Is this really what we want with copyright infringment as well?

        Copyright infringment should be a civil matter, not a criminal one.
    • It was the marketing men, look at the press coverage they are getting, what a plan! They can even use it in the MPAA we will placify the world campain.
      Bet there getting the biggest bonus they've had for a while.
    • Why don't they focus their efforts on finding who leaked it rather than going after the people too anxious to wait till the release (who are likely to go see it when it comes out anyways)?

      It isn't beyond the realm of possibility that the footage was deliberately released in order to create exactly the kind of stir Hollywood needs to push through legislation and FCC regulatory interpretations designed to take away the last of our digital freedoms and complete the conversion of the internet from an interactive medium of information exchange into a glorified Home Shopping Network.

      More likely, the emberrassment of having "one of their own" exposed as the culprit would diminish the MPAA's political efforts, so while they view the breach as unfortunate, the also will use it as a fortuitious political opportunity, and frighten the restless masses back onto the couch where they belong.

      Either way, these thugs have far more incentive to avoid cleaning up their own houses while forcibly breaking into ours.
  • by l33t-gu3lph1t3 ( 567059 ) <> on Monday September 02, 2002 @08:36AM (#4183387) Homepage
    And we wonder why the RIAA and MPAA are screaming at their senators to kill P2P systems? Movies have always partially made it into the Internet before they were released, but only now with the relative ease of file-swapping have they been so readily pirated. If we want to convince *anyone* of the legitimacy of P2P networks bull**** like this has to stop, now.
    • by technix4beos ( 471838 ) <> on Monday September 02, 2002 @08:40AM (#4183399) Homepage Journal
      The real question is this: "Where did the material come from in the first place?"

      If this is legit material, than perhaps the movie industry should worry more about security than howling after the fact.

      It's been said countless times, that the internet as broadcast medium could do far more positive things for the movie industry than harmful, if handled correctly. We all know how dense the people at the top are though...

      I don't know what is more tragic. The fact that someone has the balls to smuggle this out, or the fact that the movie industry is too stupid to not capitilize on a medium that obviously their fans use daily.
      • by SimplyCosmic ( 15296 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @08:53AM (#4183461) Homepage
        ... maybe they deliberately leaked it, knowing full well that the extra hype would only help the movie, the fanatics would still go to the movie theater to see it ten times and would buy all six versions of the DVD, even after seeing it from a downloaded P2P copy.

        [ conspiracy mode ]

        Additionally, intentionally releasing a relatively clean copy of a movie that they know will be heavily traded provides them a great bullet point in presentations to Congress about how those eterrorist hackers are trading complete movies online and legislation needs to be immediately enacted to give them full search-and-seizure rights to your computer.

        [ /conspiracy mode ]
        • You know what would be even scarier to contemplate?

          If they leaked different sub-versions, each with a special "marker" in it to track how far they travelled online.

          Think of the potential marketing statistics and numbers they could churn out the next time they want to justify exactly what you stated, namely how all the eTerrorists are infiltrating their industry and causing such a downturn in the economy... (my heart breaks... ;)

          I'll say it again. The United States is NOT the center of the universe.

          These people need to grow up, take a good look around at this world we live in, and realize that money doesn't solve everything.

      • by fuxoft ( 161836 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @09:51AM (#4183665) Homepage
        The kind of security you are talking about is just not possible. Consider that if there are dubbed versions to be made (as i the case with LOTR2), several dozen countries all over the world have to receive the movie several months in advance. Of course, it's probably not with finished special effects and music but I presume this is the case with LOTR2 - I think it's not yet finished. The videotape is sitting in the dubbing studio where anyone from dozen employees can copy it. Multiply this by the number of countries and you have hundreds of people, most of which are movie fans and many of which have internet access.

        I translated Episodes I and II for local release and I had them on tape several months before the U.S. release. Imagine the pressure when you cannot tell anyone. :)

      • If this is legit material, than perhaps the movie industry should worry more about security than howling after the fact

        The logic of this is that if I leave my front door open and somebody steals all my videos, it is my fault for being stupid enough to leave the door open. The level of security breached is irrelavent, the fact that theft occurs is.

    • Oh, and next we should shut down usenet. Then we should shut down our highways, because they transport criminals. Also shut down grocery stores, as they provide food for criminals (it's against the law to aid a criminal, right?) Hell, let's start cutting fibre right away. Go troll somewhere else
  • by bushboy ( 112290 ) <> on Monday September 02, 2002 @08:39AM (#4183395) Homepage
    Well, if you want to see a really shoddy quality movie on a small computer monitor with more than likely bad quality sound and some stupid warez logo covering part of the screen, your screwing yourself.

    I'd rather wait 4 months and pay my money to see it the way it is intended ! - BIG SCREEN, dolby surround sound, comfy chair, popcorn etc.
    • If not, that's just speculation from your side. But I get your point - a good movie such as the two towers *should* be watched on cinema.
    • >I'd rather wait 4 months and pay my money to see it the way it is intended ! - BIG SCREEN, dolby surround sound, comfy chair, popcorn etc.

      but... no smoking.. :(

      • I wish people could sit and watch a film without eating, drinking and talking. It ruins the enjoyment of a film. A friend of mine saw Episode 2 on VCD then at the Cinema, he said he enjoyed it more at home as the Cinema was too full and he was sat by a aircon duct freezing his bits off.
    • Not a great downloader of movies, are you? The quality is perfectly watchable most of the time. I personnally hate subtitles on the bottom so I wait an extra week for an un-subbed version. I've never seen one with a warez logo apart from maybe a 3 second intro to the movie. In the UK, I would have to wait six months for this movie. That's two months after I've read all the reviews on the net and chatted to my Yank friends. Wonderful. Also, people don't watch all their movies on their little 14 inch monitors. MPEGs work great on most DVD players. I love the cinima too. I love uncomfortable chairs, sitting in the dark, no talking!, music too loud!, can't go for a piss, expensive popcorn, watered down cola that they say is Coke(TM), talk bloke with large hair in front of me, no rewind, my back hurts...

      • That 6 month delay doesn't happen any more, big films are often released at the same time, others within a month or 2. And while you can play video cd (mpeg 1) on a DVD player, the quality sucks. If you can't tell, you need a new TV :)
    • If the leak looks anything like the warez release of FotR, then the quality isn't all that shoddy. I had several people show me that one (and then offer me a copy, which I politely declined) and I've got to say that it was *sharp* and the sound, while not Dolby Digital, was still pretty good.

      This is not to say that spreading around an unfinished movie is a good thing (don't they typically work on these right up to the end, or is that just Lucas??), but without seeing it, it isn't fair to knock the quality.
  • Heh... (Score:5, Informative)

    by NeuroManson ( 214835 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @08:42AM (#4183410) Homepage
    They're going after everyone who *downloads* it? That's going to take some doing...

    Either way, plainly put, the quality is going to suck, the movie is worth seeing no matter what, I'll just consider the alleged posting (if I find it) as an appetizer before watching it on a massive movie screen with full Dolby Digital surround...

    If one followed the logic of the idiots in Hollyweird, anyone who ever read Tolkein is already in violation of their hush hush rules...

    I mean come ON now, who here hasn't actually read the books by Tolkein? Bueller? Bueller? We know how the story goes, the movie is just a way to see how well the books can be fleshed out... Kind of like Cameron's Titanic (spoiler alert: The ship sinks)...
    • the movie is just a way to see how well the books can be fleshed out

      I preferred the book of TFOTR - the special effects were much better (in my version at least) ;-)

    • Re:Heh... (Score:2, Informative)

      by Psiren ( 6145 )
      I mean come ON now, who here hasn't actually read the books by Tolkein?

      I haven't. I did try, several years ago, but really couldn't get into it. It seemed to me that Tolkien spent far too much time trying to set the scene, and not enough just telling the story. With a film I can see the scene, and only have to follow the story. Although to be honest, I didn't think much of that either, after seeing it. Guess I'm just not a fan.
      • I totally agree. I read the Return of the King first (not knowing any better), then the Hobbit and then most of FOTR. I really didn't like RotK but when I found out it was the last in the series, I decided it was my bad and I should read the others. The Hobbit was good, but FOTR would just drag in a lot of areas. Tolkein will describe a tree they pass down to individual leaves and take a few pages just to do so. I always guessed it was to give the impression of passing time, but really, it was just boring.
      • It seemed to me that Tolkien spent far too much time trying to set the scene, and not enough just telling the story. With a film I can see the scene, and only have to follow the story.

        You're American, right?


    • Erm... (Score:3, Funny)

      by Snaller ( 147050 )
      >I mean come ON now, who here hasn't actually read the books by Tolkein? ... I haven't :)

      I think all this nonsens about ring to be vastly inflated, I was dragged along to see number 1 and wasn't impressed. I'll be dragged a long to see number 2 and i suspect I won't be to impressed there either.

      And whats with this supposed power of that ring? I haven't seen any special powers, ok it makes Bilbo invisible, but that's it apparently! Does it shoot laser beams! Does it move mountains! Can it make them fly (hell no, they have to walk!) - face it, its just a cheap trinket Sauron had crafted to impress the chicks down at Ye Olde Drunken Dragon Cafe.

      Oh, and want a real spoiler? The ring did it!
  • by thumbtack ( 445103 ) <> on Monday September 02, 2002 @08:43AM (#4183412)
    Wait a minute here. If it's out, 4 months before its released, then someone on YOUR side of the food chain is the culprit.

    But then again, maybe the recent availablity of Emniem on file sharing networks before the release, and the excellent sales has inspired your marketing department.
  • by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @08:43AM (#4183414) Journal
    An executive in New York promised if this is indeed part of the film that they would be punishing anyone and everyone that downloads the film or distributes it to the full extent of the law

    *shivers in fear*

    Hopefully, no executives from New York dressed in black will come into my innocent house in northern Sweden to punish me to the maximum extent of the law. :-O
    • Well, they did it to Jon Johansen (in Norway I think), so I don't think Sweden is such a safe place either.
      • Now that you mention it.. Yes, you're right. :-P

        Well, that does it. I'll just have to keep a low profile then so I'm hopefully not be discovered until winter, when the peeps at Jukkasjärvi builds their annual ice hotel []. I'll hide there until all this mess has cooled (no pun intended!) down a bit. Hopefully, hiding there will confuse the NY executives enough to not find me. Or do they look in ice hotels too? aaah
  • Cracked or leaked? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jukal ( 523582 )
    It would be interesting to know whether the movie file was leaked by someone who is part of the team - or if someone cracked into their system and stole it. I quess the cracker possibility could be quite potential too, because: they clearly use a lot of digital/computerized technology - even probably for communication within the team (so there probably would be the possibilities to do it) and because I doubt that the one who leaked the previous episode would have had the balls to do it again. If it was stolen by a system cracker - I would not like to be in the shoes of their sys.adm / infosec specialist who did not take enough action to make sure it does not happen again.
    • ..or if someone cracked into their system and stole it.

      If this is the case, their network admin should be fired. No matter what resolution, that would have to be one huge file transfer to go unnoticed on a corporate LAN uplink.

      Myself, I'm betting it may be a working copy but I bet a number of effects shots are either still low-res versions or simply missing. I have a real hard time believing the film is even done, considering today's effect shop deadlines seeming to back right up against the release date. Either that or some s00per-l33+ skr1p+ k1dd13 was simply bragging about having an animated version.
  • Attributing blame. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FyRE666 ( 263011 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @08:48AM (#4183435) Homepage
    Shouldn't the movie studios/recording industry pour all their efforts into finding the source of these leaked files rather than blaming everyone else on the 'net for their lack of basic security?

    You know, simply NOT allowing their staff to send emails full of huge mpg files, or carry out CDRWs full of company assets would seem to be a good idea, would it not? It'd certainly be easier to stop this sort of thing at the source.

    Imagine if the mints (places that "make" money - not the sweets) had security this lax? Everyone in the country would be a potential criminal. Mind you, the RIAA already think this, so...
  • by theefer ( 467185 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @08:49AM (#4183441) Homepage
    I'm one of those guys who is buying a DVD player partly because of the LOTR DVD, who spends some time reading a Quenya (elvish) course. But I suppose the question concerns most of us.

    Who the hell would like to view an unfinished, probably mostly-SFX-free, score-free, unperfect version of the Two Towers ?

    I want to watch it in the better conditions possible, not a shitty tiny pre-alpha version. I would watch that even if I was forced to. This is just ridiculous.

    Cinema is art. You don't steal somebody's unfinished painting just to have a peak at it before anybody else, do you ? Let's wait for the final, fully worked movie. That's what we are wainting for.
    • How can you balance liking LotR so much that you spend time learning an Elvish language with not thinking the first film was an insult to the source?

      Low points for me were having Frodo transported into Rivendell by Liv Tyler when in the source it is one of the defining moments of his character as he resists the Riders on his own, and the way that every journey appears to take exactly one day, and the film in total about a week, despite the source taking place over some months.

      The film was made for people who are distinctly non-fanatical, people who have not read the books. Its only redeeming feature is that it may bring more people to read the books and come to see how poor the film is.

      This is all relative to the books. On its own, the film is reasonably good, but by claiming to be a film of that story it is very poor.
  • Umm (Score:5, Informative)

    by ChrisJones ( 23624 ) <cmsj-slashdot@te n s h u . n et> on Monday September 02, 2002 @08:51AM (#4183453) Homepage Journal
    I just looked on KaZaA, and tbh I don't see squat that could be TTT. Sure there are lots of dickheads pretending to have it, but you only have to hover the mouse over the file and it'll pop up with some meta information about the film, which in most cases says "Eight Legged Freaks" or "Spiderman".
    I kinda get the feeling that Matt Drudge has been taken on a leeeeetle wild goose chase.
    That is, unless anyone can reliably confirm that they have downloaded it and it is the real thing (something I seriously doubt, I would expect it to still be in post production at 4 months from release).
    • It's real. (Score:5, Informative)

      by ltwally ( 313043 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @10:35AM (#4183803) Homepage Journal
      It's available via KaZaA and (and proabably other services). It is broken up in to three seperate DiVX parts, each one ~180meg. I've already received the first two of three... and am watching even as i write this.

      And, yes, they filmed them all at the same time... though they didn't do the production work (touch-ups, choose which scenes, special-effects, etc.) on all three at once. It appears that they have just recently either finished production on TTT, or have come near enough to have a darn good movie available to us leechers!
  • by Ride-My-Rocket ( 96935 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @08:58AM (#4183478) Homepage
    Even thought we have no idea a) where this trailer is available for download, b) how to legally obtain the names of individuals who DO download the trailer, and c) whether the information is legit or not.

    Actually, I don't really have any desire to see a crappy copy beforehand. The first film was good enough that I'd like the full-on experience of seeing it in the theater. But I will go ahead and see if I can find the trailer somewhere, just for kicks.
  • by 3seas ( 184403 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @09:04AM (#4183494) Homepage Journal
    But the real criminals are those responsible for initially putting it on the web.

    And the fact of the matter is.....Most people won't download it and t ones that do
    will only cause a spreading oif the word as to whether or not it's a good movie.

    Hmmmm, how much money could be saved in mass marketing if replaced with the word of
    mouth die hard big file swapers?
    • Hmmmm, how much money could be saved in mass marketing if replaced with the word of mouth die hard big file swapers?

      I'm a regular /. reader, typically munching through most of my pre-allocated 15 ad-free comment views per day of my subscription. I'm pretty die-hard geek; you have to be to do what I do at work (which I can't publically discuss until 2005, sadly). My wife is the only other real die-hard geek I know of at this point, and she's not into this whole file sharing thing either. I've been known to turn to Gnutella to snag a file instead of unpacking my CDs from my move. With a collection of 500+, unpacking and organizing each time we move is a chore. If I have a copy, I figure it's legal. Enough background. You know where I'm coming from. Suffice it to say that I've not ready any Tolkein novels after The Hobbit because of how much time I've spent on the computer.

      I've never downloaded a cinema feature, whether or not I've owned it (how long would it take to squeeze through my horridly capped cable modem?). I sure won't download Twin Towers, and because of my limited exposure to other file sharing folk, I wouldn't even know it was coming out if it weren't for the expensive mass marketing you propose to eliminate. Sure, I'd read on /. about how this was the first movie to skip the expensive advertising campaign, but I likely wouldn't hear about the second.

      P2P people tend to have an over-inflated view of themselves and the impact of their sub-culture. My unsupported personal belief is that the RIAA/MPAA heard of this P2P thing, how easy it was and how many download starts happened. They didn't bother to investigate how many of those were first-starts or how many were re-starts because of a failed download. Certainly the P2P generation is having an impact on the entertainment industry, but I don't think that it's as significant as everyone estimates. There was a time when everyone at work was checking it out, but strangely they don't have computers where they play music. Do normal lay-people have MP3 decoders in their cars, entertainment centers or work-out class sports walkmans yet? All that I know ended up listening to their pirated songs once or twice and then junking them, having investigated the novelty and realizing how much hard drive space they used up in the endeavor. Nobody I know of has the patience for the expected quality of a cinema feature download.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 02, 2002 @09:05AM (#4183501)
    The One Ring Net []

    Rumour That TTT is on the Internet Appears False

    The Drudge Report [] has reported a rumour that
    The Two Towers is already available on the internet. WinMX and Kazaa carry
    several files purporting to be some version of the film, however they all
    appear to be fakes. Thanks to Sir Mordred, Moses and several other Barliman's
    chatters for helping me check these files out.
  • ...that some people here can cheer the theft of intellectual property like movies and music, while viciously attacking perceived violations of the GPL and "little guy" property?

    I smell hypocrisy.

    • Re:Why is it.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LMCBoy ( 185365 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @09:56AM (#4183681) Homepage Journal
      Two points:

      1. Can you point to one positively-moderated comment here that's "cheered" the theft of the movie? Maybe I missed it, but the closest I saw was someone calling the studios morons for saying they were going after downloaders instead of trying to plug the leak. And that's not close at all.

      2. Despite what you may have heard, the people who post on slashdot do not share a mind. They may therefore have a wide range of conflicting views on any number of topics, including copyright law. That is not hypocrisy.
  • Ofcourse the RIAA will claim that the studios loose half a trillion zloties in revenues over this, but I wonder if it really matters. I watched LOTR 1/3 three times now. Twice in the cinema and once on DVD. Judging from the geeks around me, most of them saw it at least twice legally and maybe once or twice illegally. For geeks its a must to see it in the cinema and they maybe even buy the DVD. They are also the only ones with a real chance (bandwidth and opportunity) of getting the full 700MB or so of this release, so chances are low that it will result in lower sales.

    I do predict however that the revenues on Part Two will be lower. This because of the perceived downturn in the economy and parents therefore less willing to shell out large amounts of money around december.
  • by altgrr ( 593057 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @09:11AM (#4183526)
    ...the release of "The Two Towers" was brought forward to September 11.

  • Erm, don't get me wrong. Since when is viewing copyright material illegal? This isn't drugs people. You can't proscute somebody for watching a pirate video. You Can prosecute them for distributing it. There is a big difference.

    Good luck finding the IP address of every single person on Kazza or Gnutella who is distributing this, then downloading the file from them to keep as evidence against them and them proving it was actually that person who was using that computer at the time.

    • Since when is viewing copyright material illegal?

      I don't believe it is. However, downloading of copyright material without the consent of the rights holder IS illegal.

      And they don't need to d/l the file from them. It would be more effective as a scare tactic to warrant -> take the computer, and pretty easy too.

      Don't shoot the messenger.
  • by Xebikr ( 591462 )
    Someone could hand me a perfect DVD quality rip of this movie, and I would still wait until it is in the theaters to see it.

    Dammit, I've waited 30 years to see this movie done right on the big (not just large) screen, and I'll gladly pay the $15 for me and my wife to see it in the theater on openning night.
  • Swapped file is FAKE. Please stop posting unchecked stories. Thank you very much.
  • Irony.... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by _Spirit ( 23983 )
    The first US paperback edition of the LOTR never earned Tolkien one cent because of the shady state of copyright law in those days. A US company (ACE Books) could get away with selling Tolkiens intellectual property without consulting or paying him.

    And now US companies are educating the world on the ethics and legal consequenses of infringing on their copyrights. Wherever the money is eh ?
  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @10:09AM (#4183717)
    Saving TWOTOW~1.DVD...
    69,914,794 of 6,442,450,944 bytes
    1% Complete
    2,214,592 seconds remaining...

    If it's 4 months before the release now, I'm going to be able to see it a full *3 months* before the rest of you suckers!

    Laugh all you want, but I know whose door *you'll* be knocking on, come September 28th, once the download is complete!

    -- Terry
  • by Clue4All ( 580842 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @10:21AM (#4183756) Homepage
    I watched it from start to finish last week, and was totally unimpressed. Maybe they'll pull together some nice finishing touches in editing, but the story has been weakened from the book dramatically, there are a lot of holes, and I really don't think that's something that a big screen and big sound can save. I guess we'll see.
  • How come they don't punish people to the full extent of the law (is it possible to punish someone with a 1/4 of the law?) every time they download copyrighted movies, reglardless of what movie it is?

    The movie industry needs to get its shit together.
  • "This is four months before the movie is set to debut! An executive in New York promised if this is indeed part of the film that they would be punishing anyone and everyone that downloads the film or distributes it to the full extent of the law."

    Of course, the article wont't tell you that this is probably the same Madison Avenue marketing exec whose decision it was to release the "pirated" version of the movie onto the net to begin with. And what better way to call attention to it than to "complain" about it in the national media?

    Seriously, hasn't anybody noticed that this kind of thing doesn't happen to the lower-budget and/or lamer flicks? Always the "highly anticipated" (by who?) "pending blockbuster" crap that gets splashed across the net and the news like this. The kinds of movies that have more than enough money involved to make sure these kinds of leaks don't happen.

    The MPAA are downright experts on the uses and exploitations of digital rights management technology. Wouldn't it be child's play for them to fingerprint copies of the pre-release before dispersing them? What about asking why Bob over there is coming into the screening with a camcorder and a CD-burner? So why is their security so "lax" in these situations? Do I really need to spell it out for you?

    The studio released its own "totally unauthorized" copy of the movie to build up yet more hype. It's actually quite cheap for them and effective on a consistent basis. After all, it's not like they have to pay sites like Slashdot to join in on the marketing bandwagon as well. Free advertising and teasing the raving fan(antics) as well.

    Do the /. editors need bumper stickers put across the tops of their monitors to remind them the MPAA is evil? Are their attention spans that short?
  • by reallocate ( 142797 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @11:07AM (#4183928)
    For all you who imagine that electronic shoplifting is somehow different than walking into a local shop and pocketing a DVD, here's the text of the fair use clause from the U.S. copyright law []. You will notice that "wanting to see a movie prior to release" is not listed as an example of fair use.

    ...the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include-

    (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

    (2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

    (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

    (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

    The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

  • TORN [] reports:
    Drudge Report [] has reported a rumour that The Two Towers is already available on the internet. WinMX and Kazaa carry several files purporting to be some version of the film, however they all appear to be fakes. Thanks to Sir Mordred, Moses and several other Barliman's chatters for helping me check these files out.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI