The BBC has gone to a Washington court in a bid to track down the source of a major Doctor Who leak earlier this year and is pursuing tech giant Microsoft for information.
According to recently discovered court papers published by TorrentFreak, the footage was stored and subsequently shared on file-hosting service OneDrive, which is operated by Microsoft. The papers state that the petitioner, referred to as “BBC Worldwide Limited t/a BBC Studios (Distribution),” requests the court to subpoena Microsoft with regards to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
The request seeks to “identify an alleged infringer or infringers“ of material from episode 1 of Doctor Who season 11 (though not limited to, which suggests more leaked footage could be out there), which was discovered on OneDrive.
In essence, the BBC is demanding that Microsoft hand over all pertinent details regarding a file that was stored and subsequently shared on One Drive, namely its user.
Last month, the BBC took the matter to California federal court to subpoena mobile community platform Tapatalk in order to identify the individual responsible for the leak.
While this is not the first leak Doctor Who has had to deal with, the incident was all the more surprising given the extreme secrecy and info lockdown on the series since new showrunner Chris Chibnall came on board. Also known for his crackdown on leaks and spoilers on the ITV Studios series Broadchurch, Chibnall took over from Steven Moffat (Sherlock), who bowed out at Christmas when Whittaker was introduced as the new Doctor, becoming the first female to play the role.
Representing BBC Studios is Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, a law firm well known for its intellectual property practice.
Doctor Who season 11 is slated to air on BBC America in the fall.