cademy members and movie production workers may wring their hands over piracy in public, but backstage some of them are apparently file-swapping like tweens. Despite studio attempts to prevent leaks online this year, and the threat of jail time and steep fines for movie pirates, at least four screeners are on file-sharing networks already. More may follow.
[...] In recent years, screeners have been issued on DVDs that contain watermarks—hidden data strings—used to trace leaks back to their sources. Other anti-piracy measures include encrypting DVDs so that they will only play in special machines supplied exclusively to voters.
Academy members or others tapped in to the screener-distribution chain have already posted copies of Syriana, Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, North Country, and Memoirs of a Geisha to the peer-to-peer file-sharing network BitTorrent, complete with “FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION” blurbs and studio IDs.
[...] Even more than technology or forensics intelligence, the screener system relies on human trust—the trust that those responsible for processing, distributing, and reviewing screeners won’t do what this latest round of leaks proves they have.
Here in Hollywood, you just can’t trust anyone.