Pirated Screeners…your ‘Christmas’ update. Brought to you by…. The Studios!

warner.jpguniversal.jpgparamount.jpgcolumbiatristar.jpgdisney1.jpgmgm.jpg It’s Christmas time and more and more of those ever ‘elusive’ screeners are appearing now online each day (and other films too, not just screeners) . Just showing up last night and ALL in DVD Screener quality; I am Legend , Gone Baby Gone, Zodiac, Resident Evil Extinction, Stardust, The Simpsons Movie, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, Eastern Promises, Underdog (what a waste of digital storage space), Once, The Kite Runner, 3:10 to Yuma, Atonement, The Bee Movie,  No Country for Old Men,  Alvin and The Chipmunks, August Rush, and The Perfect Holiday. Still MIA are (but I expect will rear their heads in a few days); Fred Claus, Enchanted,  Michael Clayton,  The Golden Compass, Sweeney Todd, Charlie Wilson’s War, Beowolf, P.S. I Love You and National Treasure: Book of Secrets.

The DVD screeners are nearly all ‘poached’ from someone in each studio. The screener ‘log’ number (embedded in the digital copy near the bottom of the screen) has been digitally removed so it can’t be identified as to whose screener copy it actually was.

It appears that the crop of pictures are as robust as last years and that despite numerous anti-theft measures by each studio, films STILL make it out the door. Some are Region 5 copies, most are dvd screeners, internal to each studio. However, with the demise of Kazaa and Limewire in the past year and half, the distribution of these ‘pirated’ copies has diminished. The reason being that Kazaa and Limewire enabled the non-technical consumers to be able to download a copy of anything with only 1 click. Getting films such as the ones I’ve mentioned above now from newsgroups requires a pretty sophisticated and long process and some technical understanding and expertise. Most of this is well beyond the masses online. That’s the good news. But in truth, these ‘advance’ screeners end up being discussed and chatted about online much like topics you might discuss around the proverbial ‘water cooler’ at your office. These discussions (positive or negative) filter down into people’s blogs, messageboards, IM chats and eventually get swept up onto Google somewhere giving that film some additional exposure it never would of had through traditional channels. After all, isn’t that what each studio tries to do with all of their content when its released, ultimately promote it? Wouldn’t it be cool one day if someone at a studio realized all of this and made a film with 2 different endings (or additional scenes) to try and take advantage of this unregulated distribution ‘channel’. Purposely release the DVD screener of 1 version (ending) and then the other (the theatrical version) through normal channels. Think of the buzz and consumer demand (especially if the film was popular) to now find that other version and see the alternate ending. Of course, then they could release THAT version through traditional channels giving the studio’s perhaps a larger slice of DVD sales at retail.

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7 comments on “Pirated Screeners…your ‘Christmas’ update. Brought to you by…. The Studios!

  1. people have been saying this for years… using p2p as FREE distribution channel for exposure and delivery.
    they won’t listen. they never will.
    i can’t tell you how many indie films i’ve downloaded that i would have never heard of at all. the number is definately in the 100’s. and of course who can leave out the massive amounts of music that i’ve heard on the internet that isn’t played on mtv or mainstream radio, and i can’t buy their cd at the local record store because they don’t carry it. call me a theif if you like, but can bet whenever they come to town i’m one of the first in line waiting for tickets and i always buy merch. from their own vendors. this is the best way i have found to cut out the middle man and give funds directly to the artists.

  2. A lot of the movies you listed that came out as dvd screeners were already out as retail DVDs and DVDRips.

    Still, gotta love award season.

  3. Someone-

    Yes, I have heard of torrents – especially Bit Torrent. I have not used any P2P software to date, however, even Torrent uploaders get their source files primarily from the newsgroups first. ~b.

  4. Actually, most torrent seeders are somehow affiliated with the scene releasers, and have access to ftp topsites and/or dumps…. many times brand new torrents will show up before they hit usenet… someone has to upload to usenet, why not do a torrent instead?

  5. Someone-

    If so I stand corrected. But most new newsgroup release files are divx, xvid (divx backwards btw) or .avi files. Not ‘torrent’ file extensions. But perhaps the uploaders transcode the torrent files to these primary file extensions before uploading to newsgroups. Just not 100% sure.
    ~b.

  6. torrent sites DO NOT get their “source files primarily from newsgroups”. that’s BS. newsgroups are not “first”. newsgroups have always been an afterthought. “scene” releases appear first on the group’s topsite (ftp), and then fxp’ers with topsite access begin to spread the rls down the line to 0day sites (ftp). and eventually they find their way to newsgroups, IRC channels for DCC bots and torrent sites.

    recently, however, more and more 0day torrent sites are popping up. most are private and the only way to get access is an invite (if at all). these sites, for the most part, stick to the scene rules and have taken the place of many ftp 0day sites. they get their releases much faster than any newsgroup, p2p or irc channel.

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