So much for that April 5 release date. Hundreds of thousands of international pirates have downloaded Blu-ray copies of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” since the movie leaked to sites like Kickass Torrents, the Pirate Bay and others Tuesday night, two weeks before it was scheduled to hit shelves.
At least a dozen copies of the 2015 movie, one of the highest-grossing films of all time, are available on various piracy sites. It's the deluge of high-quality torrents so many have been waiting for after Disney and Lucasfilm have been so effective at issuing takedown requests against any site that made an illicit copy of the film available. The companies have issued tens of thousands of copyright infringement advisories since the movie was released in theaters on Dec. 18.
Five different “Star Wars” files made up the most shared movies on Kickass Torrents, the most popular piracy website in the world.
“I feel a disturbance in the force, as if an entire planet's Internet Service Providers are all crying out at once, 'What's going on with the bandwidth!?,” wrote one commenter.
Until now, illicit “Star Wars” copies have been a closely guarded prize. But it appears that, while preparing for retail sales, the copyright rights enforcers could no longer sustain the protective measures. The “Star Wars” leak appears to originate with the group REPLiCA, which posted an image of a retail Blu-ray disc as part of the torrent authentication process, TorrentFreak reported.