10 August 2018Copyright

BBC asks Twitter and Microsoft to help identify ‘Doctor Who’ leak

British broadcaster the BBC has asked US courts to subpoena Twitter and Microsoft in efforts to identify the source of recently-leaked “Doctor Who” footage.

The BBC filed its subpoena against Twitter at the US District Court for the Northern District of California on Friday, August 3, a day after the broadcaster filed a similar request against Microsoft at the US District Court for the Western District of Washington.

The latest series of popular sci-fi drama “ Doctor Who” is due to hit screens later this year on BBC America in the US and BBC One in the UK.For the first time, the character of the Doctor will be played by a woman.

However, leaked footage of the first episode in the new series was recently leaked online.

The BBC has asked the courts to subpoena Twitter and Microsoft under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, to obtain information which may lead to the source of the leaked content.

In its subpoena to Twitter, the BBC wants the social media platform to reveal “all information that may identify the alleged infringer”.

The BBC asked for any personal information held by Twitter on two of its users, including address, internet protocol location, and date of birth. The users are identified as Vortexia and Mr Whelan 101.

In June, Vortexia shared a tweet which said: “Ok so after it's been leaked *by someone else* I can officially confirm that the leak is REAL. I've known for a few weeks now but have had to keep my mouth zipped as I couldn't risk someone’s job.”

Mr Whelan 101’s tweets in relation to the leak have since been deleted.

In the Microsoft subpoena, the BBC has asked for “all information that may identify the alleged infringer who posted infringing content” at two specified OneDrive links.

Microsoft operates file-hosting service OneDrive as part of its Office Online services.

The BBC is seeking the name, internet protocol address, and file information related to the “Doctor Who” clip that was stored and shared through OneDrive.

Last month, the BBC said it asked the US District Court for the Central District of California to order mobile community platform Tapatalk to hand over information related to the leak. It explained that it takes the “theft and illegal distribution of our content extremely seriously”.

This is not the first time that the BBC has suffered a “Doctor Who” leak.

In 2014, shared scripts and footage from an upcoming series were accidentally placed on a publicly-accessible server by the BBC.

In 2005, the BBC fired a person who allegedly leaked the first episode of a new “Doctor Who” series online, three weeks before the show’s air date.

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