If you look hard enough, you’re going to find high-quality copies of some of the year’s most talked-about movies on the torrent sites. This is not good news for all the major movie studios behind the leaked films, of course.
TorrentFreak reported that a slew of the year’s most anticipated movies and yet-to-be-released films including “The Revenant” and “The Hateful Eight” were leaked online, with one well-known piracy group vowing to leak dozens more in the next few days.
According to Variety, the data issued by Excipio showed that both “The Revenant” and “The Hateful Eight” were leaked to torrent sites after “screeners” were sent to voters for review and awards consideration. Both films were slated for release on Christmas Day (25th December).
Unauthorised copies of movies usually appear online after being recorded in a cinema or “ripped” from a DVD or Blu-ray disc. However, TorrentFreak noted that this year’s leaks are by far “the most controversial leaks”.
This is likely going to disappoint Quentin Tarantino because his “Hateful Eight” script was also leaked online last year. The leak caused the director to publish the script as a novel and unsuccessfully try to sue Gawker. He later changed his mind after directing a live read of the leaked script at the United Artists Theater in Los Angeles.
According to TorrentFreak, Tarantino’s latest work had been downloaded more than 100,000 times before Sunday and those numbers are likely to swell in the days to come. The quality of the copy is “extremely clean and free from timestamps”. No “property of” watermarks are in sight as well and even secret markings will not spoil the viewing experience. It was apparently the 10th most-downloaded movie of the week.
Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s “The Revenant” was the 5th most-downloaded movie of the week while the “Rocky” spin-off film, “Creed“, which is already out in cinemas, rounded out the top 3 most popular torrents of the last day with 499,082 IP addresses. Nancy Meyers‘ “The Intern” topped the list, followed by “The Peanuts Movie” and “The Martian”.
Hive-CM8, which is one of the piracy groups behind the leaks, announced that it is preparing to leak more “screener” copies of the films in the days to come.
After posting “The Hateful Eight” online, the group said:
DVDScreener 1 of 40. Will do them all one after each other, started with the hottest title of this year, the rest will follow.
TheWrap reported that “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is among the holiday season movies that have been leaked online, but only the low-quality copy of the movie is available online. THR noted that the low-quality copy of the new “Star Wars” film is on BitTorrent site The Pirate Bay, with 17 users commenting that the copy is “watchable”.
The leak is unlikely going to affect the opening weekend of the film, which has already broken several box office records over the past 3 days.
The leak during “Oscar screener season” has become common among piracy communities in recent year. Last year, “The Expendables 3” was leaked online 3 weeks ahead of the US premiere. Ben Stiller‘s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” also surfaced online in January 2014 and it included a watermark with “Ellen DeGeneres“, indicating the copy was stolen from the 2014 Academy Awards host.
What do you think of the leaks? Will they stir up anti-piracy sentiments in Hollywood? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.