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First Half-Hour of New 'Harry Potter' Leaks Online

Muggles who can't wait until Friday to see the latest Harry Potter movie have been flocking to an extended tease circulating on illegal BitTorrent sites.  

The first 36-minutes of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 leaked online early today, according to TorrentFreak, and thousands of fans have been searching for the footage. 

Most movies find their way onto illegal file-sharing sites, of course, but studio antipiracy czars have especially vivid nightmares about pre-release leaks of major tentpole-type films (although it's still not clear what impact, if any, the leaks have on ultimate boxoffice, especially in theaters). 

A source of the leak has not been idenfitied but Potter studio Warner Bros. says it is not taking the matter lightly.

"This constitutes a serious breach of copyright violation and theft of Warner Bros. property," the studio tells THR in a statement. "We are working actively to restrict and/or remove copies that may be available. Also, we are vigorously investigating this matter and will prosecute those involved to the full extent of the law."

Last year's installment of the Potter series ended up on the list of the most-pirated movies of year, with more than 8 million illegal downloads, according to the torrent-tracking site. The film also grossed $934 million worldwide.