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DVD rips of 'Dark Knight' appear online

Warner Bros. won the first round last summer by preventing all but one very poor pirated copy from landing on the Web. This time, the P2P sites beat the DVD release.

Warner Bros. can't protect P2P sites from getting their hands on DVD rips of The Dark Knight
Warner Bros.

Last summer, I wrote how Warner Bros. celebrated that it was able to prevent all but one unwatchable pirated copy of The Dark Knight from appearing on the Web.

Well, this time the pirates won.

According to Ernesto over at TorrentFreak, DVD-quality copies leaked to the Web last week at P2P sites. The DVD version of the movie, the latest in the Batman series, doesn't go on sale in the United States until December 9.

A Warner Bros. spokesman declined to comment.

This from TorrentFreak: "From the looks of it, Batman will crush Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and Transformers, as it will easily become this year's most pirated movie."

Last July, Warner Bros. went on the offensive to plug any leaks. Anywhere the grainy and poorly lit copy--allegedly taken with a Handycam--appeared online, Warner sent a take-down letter.

The studio said then: "It is impossible to monitor every single screening at every theater worldwide to prevent it from being camcorded. Sadly, it is inevitable that an illegal copy of the film will eventually surface. What was a true accomplishment and unprecedented given the amount of interest and Internet buzz about The Dark Knight was despite hundreds of pre-release press, review, and promotional screenings worldwide, not a single copy of the film leaked prior to the official release."