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‘Pirates of the Caribbean 5’ Is Being Held Hostage by Actual Online Pirates

Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales logo
Disney

Since online pirates tend to view “don’t steal stuff” as more of a guideline than an actual rule, it’s no surprise that eventually they’d start taking aim at Hollywood. And, hey, why not start big, with, say, Disney, the biggest studio in the business? And instead of pilfering something like Coco, how about going after, I dunno, maybe Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the fifth installment in one of the most recognizable brands worldwide? Well, that’s exactly what a group of hackers apparently did.

According to Deadline, Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger broke the news at a town hall meeting with ABC employees in New York on Monday. The hackers are holding the film for ransom, to be paid in Bitcoin, but Iger stated that he had no plans to do that because Disney does not negotiate with pirates. The hackers say that they’ll start by releasing five minutes of the film if the ransom is not paid, akin to, I suppose, cutting off a hostage’s finger, and then in 20 minute increments if Disney continues to fail to follow through.

This comes less than a month after a hacking group stole the upcoming season of Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black and allegedly uploaded the first ten episodes to The Pirate Bay. Pirating movies has been pretty commonplace for the last decade or so, but hackers haven’t started holding films and shows for ransom until recently. So far, it hasn’t worked: no companies have paid any sort of tithe to these groups and Disney has no intention of starting now. The FBI is investigating this latest hack, so we’ll have to see if the first five minutes of the movie actually shows up anywhere. Or Disney could just release it as an early sneak peek to beat them to the draw.

Drink up, me hearties, yo-ho.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales hits theaters, legally and all in one piece, on May 26.

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