My post on November 4th comes with a new update today. It’s Sunday and a lazy day for me so I spent some time online looking for some ‘academy’ screeners to see what I could find. These are high quality DVD’s of movies that are sent around only to Academy voting members. They are highly ‘protected’ from theft (or so it is touted), with each copy mailed to each member, signed for and numbered, registered by each studio – and I’m sure there are other safeguards taken as well . But somehow, someway, each and EVERY year most of them end up on the newsgroups first, then inevitably the digital file filters down to the easier to ‘Phd’ applications ( Phd = push here dummy) like Limewire or Kazaa in their heyday.
How does this happen despite the increased security and improved technological ‘fingerprinting’ and ‘watermarking’ movies are found there? Its not like one or two movies get pirated and released online before they come to DVD retail stores or available online through iTunes , Unbox , Movielink or CinemaNow. MOST of them somehow make it online. Now that being said, I think that the availability of these movies online like this just increase the sales of the DVD and interest through discussion by those who get to say they have ‘seen’ the film first. Its in the word of mouth. I believe that any real fan of a movie will buy it to own the copy anyway – proud to have it at their convenience to watch. I do it with my favorite music and bands because I play that music over and over again. Just like my favorite movies (but far less than I do a favorite song, btw). Anything less than my favorite gets rented anyway.
Nowadays, they put movies up on YouTube and other services in several parts. I think I read somewhere that soon YouTube will allow you to post something that is ‘movie’ length, i. e. 2+ hrs. This will invite people to post full-length features online a bit easier in single or 2 digital files (generally a divx file can be as small as 700 megs per film vs. the 3-4 gigs VOB file ripped directly from a DVD).
So without much further ado, here is the list, links and where I found these SO FAR:
UPDATE from November 4th: (*note: not all of the below mentioned titles are ‘Academy Screeners’, some are art house pics, some are DVD screeners that were leaked earlier than their DVD street date -most likely by an employee – and all are found in the divx binary newsgroup as well as some others and are available for download for free by anyone with a newsgroup reader, newsgroup account, and some par files). If you need some help understanding how to do all of this, you can look it up on the web here (and its not an easy exercise to do and that’s why services like Limewire and Kazza thrived for so long) or try iTunes.
*The Brothers Solomon, King of California, Redacted, Fifty Pills, The Banishment, In Memory of Myself, The Edge of Heaven, Thieves, The Man Who Shot Chinatown, The Man from Earth, Shattered, September Dawn, Dragon War.