When the nominations for the Academy Awards are announced Thursday, untold millions of people already will have watched some of the leading flicks. But many of them likely didn’t view the motion pictures on a theater’s big screen, even though the movies haven’t been released on DVD or Blu-ray.
That’s because many Blockbusters have leaked to BitTorrent pirate sites, and the likely seeders are academy members.
The academy usually sends out digital or disc screener editions in December to many of its roughly 6,000 voting members. Many of the hot, in-theater-only flicks are now available online and they’re tagged “DVDSCR.”
The development highlights an unspoken irony in the file-sharing world. While the Hollywood studios loudly complain that pirate sites are dooming their businesses and demand Congress do something about it, the top flicks appearing on pirate sites often are seeded by insiders.
It happens year after year, despite screener copies now being loaded with watermarks. To be sure, camcording is also a problem, but the latest blockbuster flicks appearing on the top pirate sites are the real deal.