Reports circulated widely around the internets today that "Spider-Man 3," due out in theaters May 4th, had been pirated and was already on sale in China.
Sony Pictures took their time, but finally issued an official statement tonight saying that the report was absolutely untrue and suggested that what we're really dealing with here is a quality control issue among DVD pirates:
"Contrary to news reports about stolen copies of Spider-Man 3 being sold illegally on the streets in China, our investigation in China has revealed no case of the film being pirated to date.
Similar hoaxes and false alarms have occurred prior to the release of other major films. We have uncovered examples of Spider-Man 2 being sold in Spider-Man 3 boxes in China. But thus far we can find no instance where Spider-Man 3 has appeared on DVD."
So, there are two lessons here:
1) Buyer beware... that pirated DVD may be fake.
2) When the best spin your Media Relations department can put on your video piracy problem is that pirates haven't yet managed to copy your big blockbuster hit, you have a major piracy problem and a minor Media Relations department.