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Published:April 8th, 2009 17:08 EST
Hollywood Insider Isn't Even Beyond Reproach In The War Against Piracy

Hollywood Insider Isn't Even Beyond Reproach In The War Against Piracy

By Christopher HIllenbrand

In a business once thought "recession-proof", Hollywood is now seeing its profits tank in the box office as a result of the worldwide economic landslide. Though media executives haven`t been clued into how to combat these unforeseeable losses, they have stepped up their efforts on another front, in putting a stop to the film and music piracy pervading the internet. And as insiders in Hollywood will now attest, they`re willing to forego any studio loyalties and throw anyone under the bus just to prove that they mean business.

X-Men Origins

After writing a favorable review on a pirated version of the upcoming feature film "X-Men Origins: Wolverine", Fox News columnist Roger Friedman was ousted from his job by media organization. According to sources from Fox News, Friedman and corporate repesentatives reached a compromise and "mutually agreed to pat ways immediately."

Friedman was a well-respected entertainment writer in the business before being fired, and had been a regular contributor to for the past ten years.

As someone held in such high regard by his peers and studio heads, some are puzzled at why Friedman downloaded the illegal copy from the internet, let alone why he wrote an article about the leaked unfinished movie that his own employer: Rupert Murdoch`s News Corp., produced.

In his review posted on Fox 411 last Thursday, Friedman described the movie-going experience from the comfort of his home`s workstation as being "so much easier than going out in the rain". The columnist`s warm reception to the prequel of the X-Men canon, or as he summarized in his review: "(X-Men Origins: Wolverine) exceeds expectations at every turn", wasn`t enough to convince his superiors that his faux pas was any more excusable.

20th Century Fox, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch`s media empire, has since made the web sites offering the downloadable version of the movie, take it down.

"X-Men Origins: Wolverine", featuring Hugh Jackman in a reprisal of his role as the adamantium-clawed mutant, delves into the backstories of the most recognizable superheroes from the X-Men movies and Wolverine`s in particular. Though the movie is due to reach theaters on May 1st, the leaked version, or as 20th Century Fox calls it "(a) stolen, incomplete and early version", was available on the web earlier last week.

Spokespeople from the studio have sworn to prosecute those that pirated the release and have announced that the FBI and the Motion Picture Association of America are cooperating to bring the perpetrators to justice.