Pirated copies of latest Harry Potter film online

The Associated Press
Thursday November 14, 2002

LOS ANGELES — Days before the premiere of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” the film’s producer said it fears pirated copies are showing up on the Internet. 

Warner Bros. said in a statement Tuesday that an illegal copy of the film has appeared on the Internet, which often contains bootleg copies of films, even before they hit theaters. 

The studio later retracted the statement in a phone call to The Associated Press, saying reports of bootleg copies hadn’t been substantiated. But an AP search discovered what appeared to be the movie available on a site hosted in Europe. 

According to the site, the film had been downloaded more than 500 times already. Because it takes hours to download such files it was not immediately possible to verify that they contained the movie. 

“The illegal copying and distribution of movies is theft,” the studio said.