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piracy

When Will the MPAA Have Ashton Kutcher Thrown in Prison?

How do you promote an execrable-seeming, Katherine Heigl–starring romantic comedy whose avoidance of critics' screenings implies that it's even more terrible than Sex and the City 2? If you're Ashton Kutcher, you do it by announcing plans to "pirate" the movie's first few minutes and post them on the Internet — "June 1 I'm going live 2 the web & Pirating the 1st 10 min of Killers from the premiere" — and then following through, sort of: Killers' beginning seems to have been broadcast live here last night, but Kutcher evidently forgot to archive it or upload it to BitTorrent, so it can no longer be seen. But even if his piracy skills are as questionable as his role-selecting ability, is this something he should be doing anyway?

Sure this was all just a marketing stunt, but by calling it "piracy," was Kutcher promoting the illegal downloading that's allegedly to blame for declining DVD sales and sending mixed messages to his 5 million Twitter followers who'd be jailed or sued if they did the same thing? That's what The Hollywood Reporter's Matthew Belloni and the L.A. Times' Patrick Goldstein argue, and they're probably right. We'd be even more inclined to agree, though, if Kutcher had actually pirated Killers properly (as someone inevitably will this weekend, we're sure) — we want to see how bad this thing is!

Shouldn't the MPAA crack down on Ashton Kutcher for promoting piracy? [Big Picture/LAT]
Why is Ashton Kutcher pirating his own movie? [Esq./HR]

Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images