Fox News Fires Journalist For Bootleg Wolverine Review [Updated]

When you work for the bank, you should not brag that you stole their money!

The world is an odd place. Despite the letter of the law, it seems that right from wrong depends on your relativistic take on an issue these days - and there’s an amazing perceived gray area to the issue of copyright infringement. In the end, we all do what we’re going to do and then we defend our take on our behavior, regardless of what it is.

Folks have... interesting ways of looking at the world.

Then there are those in public positions who pursue the "illegal" path, admit to it, and don't think about their actions.

When a work print of X-Men Origins: Wolverine found itself floating out on the Internet, it was big for quite a few people. Of the many thousands of folk who saw it, some just had to brag about their deed and then write a review on the work print.

One of those folks is Roger Friedman and he used to work for a subsidiary of News Corp called Fox 411. In fact he worked for FoxNews for over 10 years.

After Wolverine escaped the confines of the 20th Century Fox post production world, Friedman seemed to go on a one way trip toward destined unemployment.

For whatever reason, he bragged about the ease of how he could get a copy of any of the present box-office top-10 films from the Internet, but disk space and time seemed to be his only constraint. Friedman also wrote a review of the work print of Wolverine.

How do I put it... Oops.

Fox was publicly adamant about their position on the illegal status of their work print being uploaded, and had brought in the FBI to pursue the issue.

When Fox discovered what Friedman wrote, his bosses felt his article was a blatant promotion of piracy.

Seeing as how a Fox employee is promoting the very thing that they deemed harmful to their technological property, they took swift action. Friedman's article was removed and he was let go from his position of 10 years.

Afterward, News Corp said

"Roger Friedman’s views in no way reflect the views of News Corporation."

And 20th Century Fox said,

"We’ve just been made aware that Roger Friedman, a freelance columnist who writes Fox 411 on – an entirely separate company from 20th Century Fox -- watched on the internet and reviewed a stolen and unfinished version of 'X-Men Orgins: Wolverine.' This behavior is reprehensible and we condemn this act categorically -- whether the review is good or bad."

Look, like I've learned from my previous article on the issue, and said earlier, we all have out different perspectives on the issue of copyrighted material. But when you work for a subsidiary of the company which publicly declared the circumstances surrounding this issue to be a scandal, you'd think some level of logical reasoning should have kicked in and Friedman could have taken a slightly higher road than he did.

As it is, this would seem to be the first official casualty from this work print debacle. As we wait, we'll find out what more the coming days have in store.

UPDATE 4/6/09

There is conjecture floating around that Roger Friedman was not fired.

His blog is still up, minus the offending Wolverine post and Friedman said in an interview with ABC news that:

"There was no action taken against me."

Other news is that Friedman has a meeting with News Corp execs to discuss the issue.  Not sure what there is to discuss, but there's the latest tidbit.

Sources: Cinematical, Deadline Hollywood Daily, Contact Music

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