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So last year around Oscar time I happened to notice that a screening copy of Sweeny Todd had become available on the internet. This version would occasionally display messages that said This is for award consideration only or something to that sort. This week I read that all but three of this years Oscar nominations movies have been leaked onto the internet.
So what? Piracy is a big problem, there are always copies of the movies online somewhere. Yes, I would agree, but most of those are dodgy cam versions (I still wonder how people get away with it). But these versions come online with award consideration scrawled over them. Therefore there must be someone at the Oscars who are leaking these or showing them to people theyre not meant to.
If something as big as the Oscars is causing piracy I think we need to have a good long look at the current system and try to find a way out of it. Could releasing movies on DVD at the same time as releasing them at the cinema stop piracy? Possibly, but youre always going to get people who would rather download a movie than pay to watch it and theres nothing we can do to stop them other than close the internet. And no one wants that.
Check out http://waxy.org/2009/01/pirating_the_2009_oscars/ for some very interesting statistics.