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Okay, so The Hollywood Reporter is suggesting that this red-band trailer for David Fincher's remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which was supposedly recorded illegally in Europe and then uploaded to YouTube for your viewing pleasure, is actually a Sony plant. Sort of exactly like when the Corporate Fat Cat in his $5000 suit sits down at the marketing meeting and says, "I hear the kids are into viral videos these days. Wallace, get busy on making some of those."

This is the Internet equivalent of a dad trying to dress like his son so that they can "relate." It's just sad. Awful, really. Viral "campaigns" are a crasser-then-crass attempt to co-opt a social phenomenon for the sake of filthy lucre. The whole point of a viral video is that it spreads on its own, by virtue of the meshing of its peculiar appeal and the Internet's mood at a given moment. You don't manufacture viral.

Likewise, you don't up something's cool factor by pretending it's pirated when it really isn't. For some reason, THR doesn't get this; instead, they finish a fine piece of analysis with the garbage line, "Finally, an under-the-radar viral campaign would be in keeping with [protagonist Lisbeth] Salander’s own renegade spirit, since she’s a master of manipulating the web." Got that? Sony - a giant electronics company that also happens to own a movie studio - is somehow in keeping with the renegade spirit of a master hacker who distrusts authority and has contempt for the system. Lamelamelame.

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