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Leaked Movie Trailer and a Confidentiality Agreement

Jessica Silliman

Luke Cavanaugh was an assistant editor at a large-scale, Los Angeles-based company which produced movie trailers, television spots and other promotional material. As assistant editor, Luke’s main responsibility was to take the “editor’s cut” of a film and break it down to get it ready for promotional distribution and sound mixing.

Luke’s job dealt heavily with confidentiality. Friends and family members would often ask him for “the dirt” on the latest releases, especially with large-scale Hollywood productions. Because of these external factors, Luke and all other employee s of the production company were forced to sign confidentiality agreements at the beginning of employment. If these agreements were breached, the employee could be terminated and legally prosecuted.

The company had suffered from “leaks” in the past that resulted in harmful consequences such as lawsuits by the affected production companies. Most recently, Luke worked on the trailer for a highly anticipated third film of a trilogy. Hollywood and its many fans were itching to get a glimpse of the latest special effects and techniques used in the film. Luke’s family and friends, though they were aware of his contractual obligations, pressured him to tell them about the film. Luke refused.

“I would undoubtedly choose not to do something like this-not just because it’s unethical-but because I could get fired,” he said.

Even with the tight security, Luke arrived at work one morning to find that his trailer had leaked onto the Internet and was available on fan websites and blogs. The trailer had already been passed for inspection to other employees, so it was impossible to determine where the leak originated. Luke worried about the security of his job-although this leak wasn’t his fault, he feared repercussions from the filmmaker and producers who entrusted him with their movie.

To his surprise, the leaked version of the trailer inspired a cult following in advance of the upcoming release. Instead of hurting sales and revealing secrets, the leaked trailer drew a bigger crowd than expected and sparked unintentional advertising via the Internet.

“I take the confidentiality agreements seriously-anyone in this industry has to,” said Luke. “I don’ t know who leaked the video, but I’m lucky that it helped the movie. If it hadn’t, I would have faced a lot of pressure from those above me and struggled to regain their trust.”

Discussion Questions:
Do you think it would be wrong for Luke to share information about coming releases with friends and family? Why or why not?
What are acceptable and unacceptable requirements of a confidentiality agreement with an employee?
Was it wrong for Luke’s unknown fellow employee to release the trailer, even if it resulted in increased publicity for the movie?
What precedent is this situation setting by not investigating the leak?
What is the harm in a leaked trailer?

Sample Solution

and is also known to be affected in experimental models of diabetes (4). Here, we review the current state of knowledge about axonal transport impairment in diabetes, focusing on the various components and mechanisms that control such transport both at peripheral (PNS) and central nervous systems (CNS). Diabetes mellitus and axonal transport Role of axonal cytoskeleton Axonal transport impairments and alterations of the cytoskeleton have been associated with numerous types of peripheral neuropathy and also central neurodegenerative diseases (5). Axonal transport takes place along the cellular cytoskeleton which provides structural support to the neuron. The neuronal cytoskeleton is composed by three major components , namely microtubules, intermediate filaments and microfilaments, which can be affected by diabetes. Microtubules Microtubules are the main cytoskeleton component responsible for the polarity of the axon. Microtubule minus end defined by the α-tubulin sideis located proximally, nearer to the soma, whereas the the plus end is defined by β-tubulin side, which is located distally, closer to the nerve terminal(6). The polarity of microtubules and consequently of the axon is given by this orientation and therefore directs motors protein to undergo anterograde (toward the plus end) or retrograde (toward the minus end) transport (Figure 1). Conversely, in dendrites, microtubules are found in mixed polarity. Microtubules are essential for axonal transport and any changes in their components may lead to impaired axonal transport under diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy involves a decrease in axon caliber, axonal transport impairment, and a reduced capacity of nerve regeneration, which are dependent on axonal cytoskeleton integrity for proper nerve function (4). Reduced synthesis of tubulin mRNA and an elevated non-enzymatic glycation of peripheral nerve tubulin was described. Particularly, it was demonstrated that after eight weeks of diabetes T alpha 1 alpha-tubulin mRNA is reduced in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats (7), and an increase in tubulin glycation was detected in the sciatic nerve of STZ-induced diabetic rats after two weeks of diabetes duration, which may contribute to axonal transport abnormalities by impairment of microtubule function (8, 9). Brain tubulin is also glycated in early experimental diabetes, consequently affecting its ability to form microtubules (10). Nevertheless, this finding was not replicated in subsequent studies, where it was demonstrated that glycation was not associated with inhibition of microtubule assembly (8, 11). In the sural nerves of diabetic patients it was detected an increase in advanced glycation end products accumulation in cytoskeletal proteins (12), suggesting that axonal cytoskeletal proteins glycation may play a role in axonal degeneration polyneuropathy in diabetes.
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