Without fail, a number of these discs are duplicated and find their way to warez and torrent sites, which label them as DVD Screeners.
It appears the studios are finally trying to take a big stand against the sharing of screeners, with some, like Fox Searchlight, turning to streaming instead of sending out physical copies.
This month, the studio gave free downloads of 'Black Swan' to 100,000 SAG voters via the Apple iTunes store. Each download expires 24 hours after the user starts viewing it.
So far, the ploy has not worked as pirates have ripped the streams and begun labeling them as Web Screeners. At least three such films, (127 Hours, The Fighter and King's Speech) are available as "Web Screeners" in full 720p HD.
Most studios end up sending 20,000 DVDs per movie to voters in any given awards season so while moving to digital will likely save them on shipping costs, it has clearly not stopped piracy.
The MPAA has estimated that $25 billion is lost globally, each year, thanks to piracy.
Written by: Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jan 2011 19:50