Disney moves to outlaw Marvel leakers who ruined Ant-Man 3

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The excitement and anticipation for a new Marvel film are palpable. Fans eagerly await any tidbits of information about upcoming films and often scour the internet for potential spoilers. However, this thirst for information can lead to a negative impact on the Marvel Studios’ efforts to maintain secrecy before the release of their films.

Disney, the parent company of Marvel Studios, has taken action against individuals who leaked the Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania script online. This is not the first time that Marvel Studios has faced the issue of leaks. Since the inception of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in 2008, story details have leaked for numerous massive Marvel projects, and the studio has been battling leakers for quite some time.

To prevent internal personnel from spoiling leaks, Marvel has taken strict measures, especially after the leaks leading up to Spider-Man: No Way Home. Many blamed the less strict conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic for these leaks. Disney is now taking further steps to reduce the leaks and better protect its prized content before release.

Disney is seeking to identify users that leaked the Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania script to the Marvel Studios Spoilers subreddit. A Disney anti-piracy analyst first submitted a copyright infringement claim following an Ant-Man leak in January 2023 when the script for the Ant-Man threequel initially appeared on Google without the permission of the Disney Company or Marvel Studios.

Google acknowledged the takedown notice but was unable to remove the content. In the days prior, the script had already been removed from Google. The script was then shared to the Marvel Studios Spoilers subreddit, which was met with a DMCA takedown notice by Marvel. Similar to the situation with Google, the post was taken down before Reddit themselves were able to take action.

As a result, the company is now attempting to identify the users who shared this script, specifically the user /u/MSSMods. However, the problem arises due to this user account being shared among moderators, making it difficult to link back to the person who originally posted the script.

Marvel is reportedly requesting information from Reddit related to users who established their account, including their names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, any IP addresses used, and account numbers. The DMCA subpoena application also appears to request information relating to users from the entire subreddit that were active on and around the date the script was shared.

While the next steps for Marvel and Disney are unclear, it is likely that the companies will pursue legal action once the identity of the original poster has been revealed.

Disney CEO Bob Iger is now requiring hybrid staff to return to the office at least four days a week and hoping for a return to pre-COVID conditions. This may also help prevent widespread leaks that have come about since the pandemic.

Leaks are still harmful to the studio, despite Marvel head writer Michael Waldron previously claiming that leaks are primarily seen by those “who want to find that stuff,” and that fans who don’t want to be spoiled can stay clear. Audiences can get a taste of a project sometimes months before release, which directly influences whether they choose to visit the movie theatre and, thus, the profit margins.

During the pandemic, internet usage grew by 10.2% during COVID, and more people than ever spent time in lockdown and turned to films and fandoms to fill in the time. This led to an increased discovery of leaks and their subsequent circulation as more people speculated on the future of the entertainment industry.

In 2021, Reddit banned 2,625 subreddits for excessive copyright infringements, 2,813 users, and 665,898 pieces of content. These staggering statistics are a 104%.

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