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Court Forces Google To Help Marvel Find Avengers Trailer Leaker

It's perhaps no surprise that Marvel wants the head of whoever leaked the trailer for the forthcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron movie. Perhaps more shocking, though, is that Google is being forced to roll over and help it do so.


Yesterday, a federal judge granted Marvel a subpoena against Google, which will help it find out where the leak came from. Google was told:

"Your are commanded to produce at the time, date, and place set forth below the following documents, electronically stored information, or objects, and to permit inspection, copying, testing, or sampling of the material."


The subpoena goes on to command Google to take "all identifying information for the user 'John Gazelle'" to court on November 18th in San Francisco.

Apparently, Marvel also asked to for "entry onto the designated premises, land, or other property possessed or controlled by you at the time, date, and location set forth." But it didn't get that. Instead, it's asking for "the IP address from which the file named 'ap-tlr-l_int_360p.mp4' and containing content known as Avengers: Age of Ultron was uploaded to the Google Drive Site" and whatever else Google will tell it.

Clearly, Marvel is very keen to make sure that whoever did leak the trailer pays for it—and presumably it's someone internal. It's quite a swift move on the court's part though, and an interesting example of the law siding with big business rather than individual privacy.

But regardless of what happens to Gazelle, at least the leak means we all got to see the trailer ahead of schedule. So, uh, good excuse to watch it again? [Deadline]

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How early was it leaked? If it was supposed to come out within hours or days, I don't see it as a big deal, but if it's weeks or months, I can understand somewhat. It's still getting lots of views and publicity, which is great for Marvel, but a public manhunt (or womanhunt) like this, it puts a bit of a dark cast to it all, which may not be the best thing for the franchise. I don't disagree with Marvel protecting its property and probably very-particularly-planned schedules and timelines, but if it came out just a bit early, very little harm has been done.