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Awards Season is Upon Us, Screeners Soon to Follow

Awards Season is Upon Us, Screeners Soon to Follow

For long-time observers of video piracy, the traditional end of the year awards season provides a very interesting peek into the interplay between the movie industry and the file-sharing scene.  Even as studio executives continue to push onerous DRM schemes on end users, the reality is that most commercial films find their way online well prior to their official DVD release date.  Somewhere along the chain of production, film industry insiders get their hands on high quality digital copies of Hollywood’s movies and start to share them, and as we all know, it only takes one copy to provide the source for millions of downloads.  Studio spokespeople rarely draw attention to this fact, as it tends to undermine their constant pleas about the need for consumer level DRM, when in fact almost all mass online infringement completely bypasses these systems.

Even worse for the studios is the annual dynamic by which the “screener” copies that are sent around to Oscar voters too lazy to actually see movies in theaters, very rapidly end up online as well.  Despite a number of efforts by the Motion Picture Academy to stop theseembarrassing leaks, they continue year after year, and highlight the extent to which even some of the most well-connected film industry members have been exposed as file-sharers.

I will be tracking how quickly the Oscar contenders show up online, and in what formats over the next few months.  But to start things off, I’ve tabulated the release history of some of the likely Oscar films, at least as chosen by the Golden Globes.  This should provide us with a good baseline for observing how things develop over the next few weeks as the Oscar race heats up and the nominations are announced.  Please let me now if I’ve missed anything so far.

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Golden Globes Theatrical
DVD
SD Leak HD Leak

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BEST PICTURE: DRAMA

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“Avatar” 12/18/2009

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“The Hurt Locker” 6/26/2009 1/12/2010 1/22/2009 1/23/2009

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“Inglourious Basterds” 8/21/2009 12/15/2009 11/17/2009 11/17/2009

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“Precious” 11/6/2009 11/25/2009

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“Up in the Air” 12/4/2009

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BEST PICTURE: COMEDY OR MUSICAL

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“500 Days of Summer” 7/17/2009 12/22/2009 11/3/2009 11/3/2009

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“The Hangover” 6/5/2009 12/15/2009 7/14/2009 11/20/2009

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“It’s Complicated” 12/25/2009

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“Julie & Julia” 8/7/2009 12/8/2009 11/5/2009 11/13/2009

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“Nine” 12/18/2009

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BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

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“A Prophet” 2/12/0201 9/13/2009

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“Baaria”

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“Broken Embraces” 11/20/2009 9/5/2009

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“The Maid” 10/16/2009 9/9/2009

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“The White Ribbon” 12/30/2009 10/10/2009

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BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

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“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” 9/18/2009 1/5/2010 11/13/2009 12/8/2009

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“Coraline” 2/6/2009 7/21/2009 5/25/2009 7/8/2009

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“Fantastic Mr. Fox” 11/13/2009

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“The Princess and the Frog” 11/25/2009

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“Up” 5/29/2009 11/10/2009 10/22/2009 10/22/2009
Bruce Lidl
When not blogging, I do PR, marketing, community outreach, and social media. I’ve spent over ten years studying the file-trading and Peer-to-Peer phenomena, both personally and professionally, with specific interest in how file-trading has impacted technology, innovation and business. I live in San Diego with my lovely wife and two very rambunctious kids. Follow me on Twitter: kosmonautbruce | Google Plus
Eric
Eric

“Nine” has been out for like a month.

Bruce Lidl
Bruce Lidl

Different "Nine." There's the animated film "9" that's been out for some time, but the awards are going to the new musical "Nine" which has not made it to theater just yet. And just to be a bit more confusing, "District 9" has been out for a few months as well.

Chris
Chris

Thats Nine not 9

Mels_Smileys45
Mels_Smileys45

I have been enjoying all the releases! More than I have seen ever actually. I have been very surprised by many but I THINK 2012 actually gave me the most buzz. The screener came out almost the same time as the movie! X-Mas is so nice for movies!



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