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Sci-Fi Media Television

Was the New Dr. Who Leaked on Purpose? 370

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the wouldn't-surprise-me-a-bit dept.
Static-MT writes "The pilot episode of the BBC's highly anticipated new Doctor Who series may have been intentionally leaked onto file-sharing networks to generate buzz, a source who instructed the network on viral advertising told Wired News."
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Was the New Dr. Who Leaked on Purpose?

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  • by ZephyrXero (750822) <zephyrxero&yahoo,com> on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @01:32PM (#11954867) Homepage Journal
    Once again proving that "illegal" file sharing only helps good media and hurts bad media.
    • by ZephyrXero (750822) <zephyrxero&yahoo,com> on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @01:45PM (#11955065) Homepage Journal
      I don't really see why this was moderated as "funny"...lol. I was being serious ;)
    • Sorry, "bad" media? Like MTV? So then, what's "good"?
    • Please explain to me the logic of your statement.
      • Re:Make's sense... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ZephyrXero (750822) <zephyrxero&yahoo,com> on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @02:08PM (#11955395) Homepage Journal
        If you make good media (music,movies,software,books,etc), most people will buy your stuff after they see that it's good. Since radio/tv do such a horrible job spreading good media these days, most of us look to alternative means, such as file sharing. I always "try before I buy" when it comes to new CD's for example... Continuing with that example, if you are making crappy music where only 1 or 2 songs are worth my time, I'm not gonna buy your crappy product. I know many of you have been burnt in the past from buying a CD because you liked a song or two you heard off of it, but hated the rest of the album. The same goes for all other forms of media too (*except maybe movies). Basically what I'm saying here is that "illegal" file sharing is a new radio/tv for a new generation and the only people who are going to be hurt by it are people making crappy products.
    • I doubt the BBC would leak it, after all they'd make more money if large numbers of people miss it when they put it on TV and are forced to buy DVD copies in the store to see the episodes they missed :)
    • The larger story (Score:5, Insightful)

      by artemis67 (93453) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @02:21PM (#11955579)
      I think it's a pretty fascinating story how people and media companies are using the internet to promote themselves in very sneaky ways.

      * Movie sites like aintitcoolnews.com [aintitcoolnews.com] routinely get "reviews" from movie companies trying to promote their own works (case in point, the number of positive pre-screening reviews for Be Cool, a really awful film)

      * Paris Hilton's sex video leaks to the internet. Ooops! It gives her career such a boost that a second one "accidentally" leaks.

      * Music companies, the sworn enemies of P2P file sharing, recover a lot of marketing data by routinely monitoring P2P traffic as a gauge of market tastes and artist popularity.

      * The Blair Witch Project was famously promoted by creating bogus info sites, detailing the "legend" of the Blair Witch.

      * How many people promote their own websites or products by submitting a story to Slashdot that casually mentions their site in the writeup? Too many to count!
      • Re:The larger story (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Coryoth (254751) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @03:27PM (#11956476) Homepage Journal
        The Blair Witch Project was famously promoted by creating bogus info sites, detailing the "legend" of the Blair Witch.

        In an interesting stroke of genius a Japanese film director went about the process the other way around. He wanted to make a film about teenagers, and had a very rough idea for a story involving a group of teenagers and their pop idol whose music they all listen to and obsess over. So he set up a fan site for a purely fictional artist, including discussion boards which were suitably seeded. The resulting discussions were then used to shape the final film, and a lot of the dialog from the discussion boards actually appears in the film (the teenagers in the film, of course, meet and interact on internet fan sites).

        The resulting film, if you ever get the chance, is well worth seeing. It's called "All About Lily Chou Chou", and is a very perceptive study of youth not only in Japan, but the world over. Note, also, that a track from the Kill Bill Vol. 1 soundtrack is credited to the entirely fictional artist "Lily Chou Chou" who was created solely for the film (the track is from the soundtrack to "All About Lily Chou Chou").

        Jedidiah.
  • by oskard (715652) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @01:32PM (#11954878)
    Well if its legal, meaning, the owners of the video purposely used this as advertisting, then who cares? Its a good idea if you ask me. Should be 'Distributed' via file sharing networks, not leaked :)
    • Well if its legal, meaning, the owners of the video purposely used this as advertisting, then who cares?

      People in the UK whose TV license funded this stunt, perhaps.

    • Yeah, but if the BBC was distributing this file would as many people have downloaded it? I downloaded because it was "leaked" and I am sure many others are in the same boat as me.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @02:11PM (#11955430)
        Ha-ha!

        The "bootleggers" have been turned into marketing tools! Not only did you torrent hosts use your bandwidth to advertise a product, you did it without getting paid a cent.

        pwned!

        Corporate Empire: 1
        Forces Against The Man: 0
    • by possible (123857) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @01:40PM (#11955000)
      Well if its legal, meaning, the owners of the video purposely used this as advertisting, then who cares? Its a good idea if you ask me. Should be 'Distributed' via file sharing networks, not leaked :)

      If a media companies are intentionally (clandestinely) leaking their products onto p2p networks, then it's hypocritical of them to beg the government to shut down p2p networks because they are hurting their business.

      I wonder if the intentionally leaked material gets figured into the "total dollars lost to p2p piracy" figures that we keep reading.

      Media companies don't want p2p networks to be shut down. What they really want is to OWN the p2p networks just as they own everything else.
      • Well we can't simply mark Dr. Who's creators and investors as the "Media companies" you speak of. Just because SOME media companies dislike p2p networks, doesn't mean these guys ever complained about it.

        Who knows, maybe they have, but we should be sure first.

        Also, theres always the possibility that the advertising firm or group that was in charge of giving this new show some hype, simply took some orders out of context and "did all that was necessary" to massively spread this avi file
      • I am not sure they WANT to own p2p networks. I think they just want to own you in court.

      • It would be interesting, and kind of funny, *IF* a media company leaked out its proprietary information to claim a loss of revenue, was founded to have leaked the information on its own (and I am not referring to rogue employees).
      • by iabervon (1971) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @02:26PM (#11955647) Homepage Journal
        The BBC isn't a media company in the usual sense. They get their funding from the British government, not advertisers or ticket sales. Lumping them and the MPAA together is a bit like expecting Linus and Bill Gates to agree on government policy. The BBC didn't lose any money due to this, because it probably didn't cause any britons to get rid of their televisions. The MPAA probably lost a bunch of money due to this, but that's what happens when the competition is better.
    • "Well if its legal, meaning, the owners of the video purposely used this as advertisting, then who cares?"

      All I know is that I liked it and now I plan on either watching it on TV or buying the DVD, whatever happens first here in my corner of the USA.

      It's a pity the *AA would like to throw their new customers in jail.
    • Simple. If it isn't illegal or mired in some sort of media-should-be-free controversy, it's not nearly as cool.

      Soon, they will be all referred to as "those lame new Dr. Who episodes when the producer and marketing team were just abusing the real fans"
  • Worked for me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hirschma (187820) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @01:33PM (#11954886)
    Downloaded it, watched it, and felt that they had captured enough of the original that I want more. I hope that the Beeb does the right thing for those of us across the pond (USA).

    • Re:Worked for me (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @01:41PM (#11955018)
      The right thing would be to work out some way of charging you guys in the US for it, or making a timely release on DVD. Given that those of us in the UK have paid for the production via our TV Licence.

      Part of the reason the BBC is still investigating ways of broadcasting everything online is that they need to figure out a way to limit access to those who've actually put something back into the BBC.
      • The right thing would be to work out some way of charging you guys in the US for it, or making a timely release on DVD. Given that those of us in the UK have paid for the production via our TV Licence.

        I would consider making a direct transoceanic contribution. The alternative? -- supporting programs I don't care much about (read: most of the rest of PBS).

      • I would happily pay say .us $25 a month for a real time BBC feed. Say something like the model HBO and other "premimum" channels here use. I'm not sure what a TV License costs but I'm thinking that would more than cover it.

        Hell I'd almost pay that much for a *quality* online feed. And I know I'm not the only one. Seems to me they need to think just a bit out of the box.
        • Re:Worked for me (Score:5, Informative)

          by biglig2 (89374) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @02:20PM (#11955557) Homepage Journal
          In 2003/2004 the license fee was about $20 a month.

          Hmm, the page I got that from had an interesting breakdown of how they spent it:

          * BBC One £3.37
          * BBC Two £1.45
          * Digital television channels £0.98
          * Transmission and collection costs £0.98
          * BBC Radio 1, 2, 3, 4 and Five Live £0.99
          * Digital radio stations £0.08
          * Nations & English Regions television £0.90
          * Local radio £0.61
          * bbc.co.uk £0.31
          Total £9.67

          For those not familiar with their work:

          BBC one is the mainstream TV channel. This is where Dr. Who would be found. One is a difficult channel for the BBC since they have to work out how much it should compete with commercial TV.

          BBC two is for less popular TV stuff. Often programs start on two, gain a following, and transfer to one.

          Digital TV - they repeat one and two, and add three (more entertainment), four (more factual), two kids channels, a 24 hour news channel, and a channel showing what parliament is doing. the key on is three, which basically the Govt. forces them to do in order to encourage people to go digital (e.g. they show new series here first) so that it will be easy to turn off the analogue one day.

          The national radio stations: one is new popular music; two is non-new popular music, comedy, other music genres; three is classical; four is speech; five is sport and news.

          Digital radio is as digital TV; they rebroadcast and add some more channels. Seven is absolutely brilliant as they play their back catalogue of incredible radio stuff.

          Regional TV is mostly news, although some of the larger regions make their own stuff. Northern Ireland and Wales especially.

          Local Radio is mostly awful except for London and the odd show.

          All the radio can be heard on their web page, with most shows available for a week after their original transmission. This alone nearly justifies the license fee for me!
          • You know if they slapped that up on DirecTV as an added channel package, I'd probably jump for it pretty damned quickly.

            $20/mo? Not that bad I'd have to say, though I have to admit that it might be annoying having it _forced_ on you
      • Most of us watch it via PBS. PBS has paid for the rights to show it. Same would be true for any other channel/network that decided to show it.

        So if it's shown on a US TV network/channel then it has been paid for.

    • I don't know about south of the 49th, but the CBC will air it in April for Canadians. You might be able to get it via satellite.

    • I hope that the Beeb does the right thing for those of us across the pond (USA).


      Given the method you (and me too) used to watch this episode, it really doesn't matter if they do or not, right?

      ~jeff
      • You make a good point - but I'd pay the BBC license fee if I could download their stuff legally. Or Tivo it from PBS or BBC America (which I already pay for), should they offer it.

        The idea of an "expat" license would be a really, really good idea for the BBC, but it might conflict with their current licensing schemes.
    • All right already, there are over 100 comments and no one has posted a .torrent or ed2k link. Anyone?
  • by Breakfast Pants (323698) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @01:33PM (#11954894) Journal
    In some jurisdictions in the world companies have to be careful about doing this because they give up parts of their exclusive ownership on the copyright of the work in question.
    • If you own the copyright on a work it shouldnt matter if you give it away for free or sell it for a million dollars - its still your copyright. How could giving away a free sample ever cause you to lose the copyright?

    • Ahhh, but could this be why it wasn't the entire episode that was leaked? They haven't given up the copyright to that...
    • Just because an organization allows people to view their copyrighted material for free does not invalidate the copyright. If it does in some part of the world, please let us know where.

      Did you mean to say, that by purposfully putting their copyright material for free download it remove's their ability to sue if someone else gives it for free also? That is possible - though it depends on the TOS. If they put an read-me-first document saying "you may view this, but under no circumstances give it out to
  • Perfect copy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bazim2 (625704) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @01:34PM (#11954901)
    It was the best looking AVI I've ever seen. All the credits were there and all the introduction with no slight cut-off near the end. It was leaked.
    • When I watched it on my 2-year old athlon xp, the audio was way off sync, up to 3 seconds. Did that happen to you? The video also stalled at times, like right at the end of the title sequence.

      Not sure if it was my computer struggling, or a bad rip.

      Surprisingly, I didn't have to download some funky codec to watch it. I may have had it already installed, but I didn't see any Divx watermark show for a few seconds.
    • You're joking, surely. The bitrate was too low, it was very blocky. Divx is no longer the best-quality codec around at bitrates like that.

      If this was intentionally leaked then they probably would have done a better job.
    • Just because the quality was perfect doesn't prove that the episode was leaked intentionally.

      Many entertainment companies send prerelease "screener" DVDs out to the media, in hopes of getting good advance reviews and bolstering ratings. It's entirely possible that there are DVD copies of the new Dr. Who pilot circulating in the media, and the AVI was ripped by an unscrupulous newspaper columnist (or mailroom attendant, for that matter) without the producers' permission.

    • Re:Perfect copy (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SuperBanana (662181)
      It was the best looking AVI I've ever seen.

      Clearly you haven't seen a good HDTV rip; it'll blow up 2x and still look very nice. Go grab one of the torrents of anHDTV rip of something like Enterprise.

      Color/brightness/contrast was pretty poor, nevermind that the editing was atrocious; the title sequence wasn't sorted. If that was the finished product, no thank you. This looked like a copy ripped off the editor's desk, not something ready for airing. Close, but no cigar.

      All the credits were there a

    • It was supposedly ripped from a copy sent out for reviewing purpouses...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @01:34PM (#11954903)
    Who let the daleks out? Who? Who? Who?
  • by MyLongNickName (822545) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @01:34PM (#11954908) Journal
    Bailey said although he didn't have definite knowledge the leak was official, the quality of the episode is highly suspicious. If it were an unofficial leak, it would likely be of poor quality, he said.

    The BBC denied any part in the distribution of the episode.


    • by oskard (715652)
      Bad quality = stolen, good quality = intentional? If they wanted to distribute this video online, wouldn't they purposely make it low quality to increase the amount of downloads?
    • The episode was probably taken off a tape, which are high-quality and the easiest thing to get at.
      An explanation is that it was made by Creative Services at the Broadcast Centre, who edit parts of the tape to create trails. With the tape, they could have got a high-quality rip of the episode quite easily.
      Whether it was leaked on purpose by Creative Services is another matter.
  • Keep 'em coming (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ToddBox (825708) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @01:34PM (#11954909)
    Let's hope this is the beginning of a trend. Between this "leak" and the Battlestar Galactica episode available on the Sci-Fi website for free, maybe television stations just get the "net" better than the RIAA and MPAA.
  • Maybe but... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by the_skywise (189793) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @01:35PM (#11954923)
    The pilot episode would garner the most ratings in the overnight to judge a success? (How many series "die" after the first episode from a poor showing). So if you leak the pilot, theoretically it doesn't get watched as much so you blow the "hook" to keep viewers coming back to the time slot next week.
    • Re:Maybe but... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Albanach (527650) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @01:42PM (#11955033) Homepage
      so you blow the "hook" to keep viewers coming back to the time slot next week.

      That's not what Viral Marketing is about. The BBC broadcasts to 50 million folk. A few million of those are interested in Dr Who, but only a few thousand of those would ever spend the time adn effort to download the pilot and watch it. Those folk enjoy it - like most the folk on /. and talk about it to their friends. Other folk read about the leak in the papers which makes it all a bit cool. They ask their geeky friends who assure them it's good and they tune in.

      The tiny number that would be downlaoding the file in the UK is insignificant when you measure viewer ratings for the popular shows in the millions. Viral amrketting is about using a small number of people to boost those millions. So far, at least on /. it seems to be working.

    • Re:Maybe but... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by theManInTheYellowHat (451261) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @01:47PM (#11955101)
      I don't think so. I would suspect that the people who download the file would be avid promoters of it, and who would do much more for it than against it, and they would also probably actually watch it again on TV (cause nothing else is on anyway).

      Anyway there are lots of people who would not be interested in downloading this show (think dialup users who were original show fans) but would like to hear from people who have. I think that it is brilliant guerilla marketing.

      I tried to use "who" as many times as I could....
      • Agreed and Agreed.

        I had forgotten this series was coming, and since I watch almost no TV, have not yet seen ads for it.

        Now that I have watched it, I've reminded my friends and co-workers and happilly post about it. I intend to watch it when it airs if only to see if this ver was a final cut or not... and because I've watched it 3 times already.

    • I don't think so (Score:5, Insightful)

      by UES (655257) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @01:47PM (#11955103)
      I can't think of any drama or comedy shows that had a very highly rated 1st episode, then a huge drop-off in the second.

      Usually a large drop-off in ratings is caused by one of the following:

      1. Cast changes (The Practice)
      2. Genre Fatigue (Enterprise)
      3. Timeslot follies (Futurama, Family Guy)
      4. Jumping the Shark (Malcolm in the Middle, Will and Grace)
      5. The thing everyone waited for happened (Cheers, Moonlighting, soon will happen to Lost and Desperate Hosuewives)

      I would think that if the BBC wanted high ratings, the thing to do would be to get as many people as possible to see the 1st episode, then follow up with 2nd and 3rd episodes of extremely high quality. That seemed to work for Battlestar Galactica.

      Having more and more people tune in each week is very desireable to TV programming people, much more so than a huge number of viewers initially due to curiosity, then a big fall-off because the show stinks and can't hold an audience.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @01:38PM (#11954971)
    But we don't believe him and are taking him to see the urologist.
  • by wronski (821189) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @01:39PM (#11954988)
    I dont know if the leaking was intentional or not, but if the show is any good it will probably help the ratings. Battlestar Galactica came out first in the UK, and probably became the single most Bittorrented tv show before it aired in the US, to excelent ratings. The creator of BSG asked fans *not* to download the show, because he feared people who downloaded it wouldnt bother to watch it on TV. What really happened is, the show is excelent, and the buzz generated by all the early viewing probably helped the ratings a lot. In Brazil BSG started airing this month, and a lot of people who wouldnt otherwise even know it existed are tuning in to a semi-obscure cable channel because of early viewing.

    Of course, if a show is crap P2P will probably hurt the ratings.
  • This move by the BBC shows how interactive P2P will replace broadcast TV. The networks know that "buzz" is the most important part of promoting their media objects, which is the most important part of promoting whatever else the media object promotes. When P2P is more useful in creating buzz than TV itself, it will eclipse TV's dominance in media. Since the Internet is already better at buzz, disproportionate to its audience size, it's already getting into TV's long-accustomed limelight. So it won't even ha
  • Well... (Score:3, Informative)

    by dJCL (183345) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @01:44PM (#11955062) Homepage
    I'm buzzed.

    I've watched it, and some of the commercials, and think I will really like the new series.

    Find a torrent of the current BBC commercials if you don't want to download, or didn't like, the leaked episode. It really does make things look interesting. (www.demonoid.com has a few versions of it, all high quality)

  • by suwain_2 (260792) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @01:53PM (#11955177) Journal
    ...a source who instructed the network on viral advertising told Wired News."

    Did anyone read this and think that this story itself was "viral advertising" for "the source who instructed the network"?
  • very bad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by badxmaru (545902) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @01:53PM (#11955179)
    1) This could be a very bad trend, if the MPAA and anti-piracy groups get their way. If the marketer doesn't do their due diligence and check with their law groups, then this "buzz" and viral marketing could get those who downloaded said video prosecuted for downloading something that was intentionally uploaded for marketing purposes. Downloading things such as fc3.x86.iso is safe because it's already known content. If i downloaded desperatehousewives.s1e21.avi, how would I know if this was a marketing release or not?

    2) maybe pirate groups should create another meta tag for videos = screeners, telecines, marketing videos.

    3) If it really was distributed on purpose, then there should have been a disclaimer, or some sort of "tag" at the end, a title page indicating that the full series would come up soon, with showtimes and the like. Otherwise, what's the point of the first episodes excepting to bring the viewers up to a point where they know the storyline will eventually be regardless?

    4) The whole "quality of video" analysis doesn't sell me on the purposeful leak theory.
    • Re:very bad (Score:3, Interesting)

      by n8_f (85799)
      I'm sorry, I don't think this should be marked insightful.

      1) I think this concern is entirely premature and a little crazy. First, you have to make the assumption that a studio would intentionally leak an episode of their show to generate buzz. I think that is entirely possible, especially given that the unique nature of the BBC. And the SciFi channel is openly showing episodes of Battlestar Galactica on their website in order to try to gin up interest in later episodes, so secretly releasing one isn'
    • by autophile (640621)
      If i downloaded desperatehousewives.s1e21.avi, how would I know if this was a marketing release or not?

      You need to set the "detect evil bit" setting in your p2p client. Now, if you're asking whether marketing releases have the evil bit set or not, then I'm not sure.

      --Rob

  • by doormat (63648) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @01:57PM (#11955244) Homepage Journal
    and get sued by the MPAA or whoever, could I say I had the permission of the copyright holder since they (or an agent working directly for them) put the material on the intenet to begin with?
    • No, because the agent distributed it with permission. You will still be distributing it without any sort of licence to do so.
    • No, because you have no proof that the agent (even if he/she was working directly for them) that distributed it actually had received authorization to do so. I have no doubt if they find out who did this, that person is not only going to be out of a job but facing some pretty serious criminal charges as well.
  • Obviously (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cruachan (113813) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @01:59PM (#11955263)
    Why is this even a story? Surely the suprise would be if the BBC hadn't leaked it?
  • Brilliant if true. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by javaxman (705658) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @02:01PM (#11955293) Journal
    Seriously, if it was leaked intentionally, it's a brilliant move. Think of the buzz it's generated, with all the news stories about it and internet user chatter. I live in the states and would probably not have even known there was a new series, and now I'm looking forward to seeing it eventuallly... you can't buy that kind of PR.
  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@@@lynx...bc...ca> on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @02:01PM (#11955294) Journal
    I had heard that someone that works at at CBC (Canada) was responsible for the leaked episode.

    Not that I expect CBC themselves ever advocated the action (if they know who did it, the guy is certainly out of a job and probably facing copyright infringement charges). But anyways, I had heard somewhere that the source of the leak was traceable to CBC.

  • Got it (Score:3, Funny)

    by TheDoctorWho (858166) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @02:02PM (#11955319)
    Decent Episode, could bode well. Will get the other episodes as they are aired. This Doc could be good. SciFi turned down the series, it would interfere with the repeats of ManSquito.
  • Bah (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @02:21PM (#11955587) Homepage
    As someone in advertising, I have to say that it was pretty obvious a while ago that this was an intentional leak. What I'm absolutely shocked at though is that the agency doing the viral marketing for them is willing to say anything AT ALL about it.

    Most of those companies are hesitant to even release their client roster for fear of giving things like this away. I hope the BBC bitches them out for this.

  • By the fact that I assumed this the second I heard it'd been leaked and found the fact that someone needed to ask the question more unbelievable.

    God, I'm a cynical bastard........
  • but thinking about a new Dr. Who makes me so excited, my nose runs.
  • ...if it's been encoded with Dirac [bbc.co.uk] :)
  • This just in:

    My Colleagues at Apple: I've taken the liberty of copying you on this incredible Dr. Who episode. Thank so much for observing our cone of silence on all Apple activity. -Steve Jobs
  • Legally a BAD move! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tsu Dho Nimh (663417) <abacaxi@hotmaiBOYSENl.com minus berry> on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @02:34PM (#11955790)
    "may have been intentionally leaked onto file-sharing networks"

    Great, if true, because they can't prosecute anyone for doing what they themselves did. It's "equitable estoppel" ... A type of estoppel that bars a person from adopting a position in court that contradicts his or her past statements or actions when that contradictory stance would be unfair to another person who relied on the original position. For example, if a landlord agrees to allow a tenant to pay the rent ten days late for six months, it would be unfair to allow the landlord to bring a court action in the fourth month to evict the tenant for being a week late with the rent. The landlord would be estopped from asserting his right to evict the tenant for late payment of rent. Also known as estoppel in pais.

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