Court Complaint Says Bootlegged Work Print Came From NYC Shop

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LOS ANGELES (AdAge.com) -- Vivendi Universal's Universal Pictures has declined to identify the advertising or media agency involved in the disappearance of a pre-release copy
Image: Universal Pictures
A pre-release work print of the "Hulk' provided to an ad agency was bootlegged onto the Internet.
of  The Hulk that found its way illegally onto the Internet weeks before the film's release.

Pleaded guilty
On Wednesday, New Jersey resident Kerry Gonzalez pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to making an unauthorized digital copy of the new hit movie The Hulk and making the copyrighted work available online. He pleaded guilty to one count of copyright infringement and faces a possible maximum three-year prison term.

Efforts to reach Mr. Gonzalez this evening were unsuccessful.

According to the complaint, Universal sent a "work print" copy of the film to an unnamed Manhattan advertising agency. A Universal spokeswoman would only say: "It was not our creative vendors."

Beyond creative services, the studio also uses Omnicom's OMD USA as its New York media-buying agency. But an Omnicom executive categorically denied OMD was involved.

Not an employee
According to the Universal spokeswoman, Mr. Gonzalez was not an employee of the agency in question, but an "associate" of someone at the agency. The spokeswoman said all of Universal's advertising agencies sign confidentiality agreements.

Asked if any action would be taken against the agency, the Universal spokeswoman said, "The investigation is continuing."

The Hulk, which opened June 20, pulled in a massive $63 million in its initial box office release, the highest June movie opening ever.

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