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) --

Time Warner's


Warner Brothers is investigating how the first 36 minutes of the new

Harry Potter

film was stolen and posted on the Internet Tuesday night, ahead of the movie's Friday Nov. 19 premiere.

"Last night a portion of

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

was stolen and illegally posted on the Internet," Warner Brothers studio said in a statement. "This constitutes a serious breach of copyright violation and theft of Warner Brother's property. We are working actively to restrict and/or remove copies that may be available."

"We are vigorously investigating this matter and will prosecute those involved to the full extent of the law," the company said.

The footage of the highly anticipated movie was made available for download on torrent downloading sites.

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The first movie of a two-part finale is set to hit U.S. theaters in two days. The final movie is scheduled for release on July 15, 2011.

-- Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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