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Serbian Man Accused Of Blackmailing Hollywood Studio

  • RFE/RL

A 26-year-old Serb who worshipped superheroes and whose father was once the head of Serbia's antiterrorist service has been arrested after allegedly trying to blackmail Hollywood studio 20th Century Fox through a local distributor by threatening to release a copy of The Boss Baby, the latest animated film from Steven Spielberg's Dreamworks studios, before its world premiere.

Momcilo Dinovic reportedly obtained a copy of the movie and demanded more than $25,000 worth of bitcoin, the electronic currency, or he would post the film online before its official release on March 31, RFE/RL's Balkan Service reports.

According to the Serbian Interior Ministry, Dinovic received the equivalent of about $11,000 in bitcoin from the companies and was waiting for more when he was detained by police in Belgrade on March 14.

Police have not said how Dinovic, an IT expert, came to possess the film, a star-studded computer animation featuring Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Lisa Kudrow, Tobey Maguire, and Jimmy Kimmel.

But screenwriter and film critic Aleksandar Radivojevic noted that "at a time when everything is done over the Internet, things like this can easily leak out or can be hacked."

If found guilty of extortion, Dinovic faces a prison sentence of between three and 12 years.

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