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Old 03-10-2003, 01:21   #1
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Screeners become outlawed...

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MPAA president Jack Valenti and other powerful forces in Hollywood have succeeded in eliminating DVD "screeners" as an Oscar marketing tool in the name of combating video piracy, but the repercussions from their victory will be felt throughout the industry for years to come...
Rest of the article here.
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Old 03-10-2003, 01:28   #2
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Does that mean there won't be a ROTK screener this year?

Last edited by RESSEH; 03-10-2003 at 01:29.
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Old 03-10-2003, 01:47   #3
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Yep - All the major studios (inc. New Line) have agreed to it.

I was hoping to make it 3 for 3 with my LOTR screeners as well, sadly though it looks like I'll just have to wait.
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Old 03-10-2003, 13:27   #4
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I don’t blame the MPAA as some thing had to be done, I blame the thieving pirates.
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Old 03-10-2003, 13:53   #5
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Ah right then...so there is absoultely no other alternative than to ban all screeners? Jack Valenti has been the head of the MPAA since 1967, he is now 83 years old - he knows nothing at all. Not only has he decided that the MPAA have to now 'Ok' posters (leading to the flux of 'floating head' syndrome we seem to be getting) but they can also control what official film websites contain.

Not only this but, take the case of LOTR. It's almost certain it's going to get the Oscars this year (at least it is favourite). Now for years to come people will argue that it only got that vote because of the marketing around it - not because the voters got to see it.

That is essentially what has happened - The marketing for a film now takes centre stage, now there's no doubt that whoever gives the most gifts will get the votes. Films like 'American Splendor' or 'Lost in Translation' wont get the votes they deserve because of this 'ban'.

Here is a letter he also sent out...

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Questions by some of the companies' subsidiaries have been quoted in the
newspapers. It has been reported that some subsidiaries believe it is ok
to send out screeners if the film has been released in home video form.
This is incorrect. The policy is - no screeners of any kind are allowed to
be sent out. Once an exemption is made, the barn door is wide open.

I hope you will instruct your subsidiaries that no screeners are to be
mailed, whether they have been released in home video/DVD or not.

Jack
So where is the sense in this? Even if a film is on release you still can't send screeners out? The pirates would've got their hands on the film by now, without all the warnings that come with it.

What about those self-destructing Disney DVD's? What about DivX technology? How about coding the releases? A member on the Chud boards whose father is a TV reviewer gets sent screener copies with his initials burnt on in the corner, thus if it's leaked they know who did it.

It's such a rash reaction and shame on the studio's for going along with it.
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Old 03-10-2003, 15:43   #6
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How many people watch the movies at the cinema a number of times. Get the screener coz the love the movie so much, to serve the in-between time until the DVD release?

I don't see that as a problem.

Also, those people that would (for whatever reason) have no other method of seeing a movie. Therefore, it is money that would be spent anyway.

Those that watch ripped screeners and never pay for the movie are the problem. But what percentage of the total "piracy" do these people form?

Piracy issues aside. Maybe there will be alternative methods of the "Acadamy" seeing these movies?
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Old 03-10-2003, 15:47   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by GrossePointeJack
What about those self-destructing Disney DVD's? What about DivX technology? How about coding the releases? A member on the Chud boards whose father is a TV reviewer gets sent screener copies with his initials burnt on in the corner, thus if it's leaked they know who did it.
I assume you mean DIVX and not DivX, seeing as how that's part of the reason this has happened

Watermarked screens would only work if they were very intrusive (eg. ghosted across a large part of the image) -- if they're just in the corner like TV DOGs then they can easily be blurred, blocked or filtered out.

~~stu
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Old 03-10-2003, 17:49   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by jnms
Also, those people that would (for whatever reason) have no other method of seeing a movie. Therefore, it is money that would be spent anyway.
Which is exactly the same as saying that people who cannot afford to buy a car (or anything else for that matter) should be allowed to steal it
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Old 03-10-2003, 18:11   #9
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I just feel sorry for all of those indipendent films that don't show on thousands of screens. the jury won't have much chance of catching them and so chances are that they will not be nominated
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Old 03-10-2003, 18:13   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Joe91
Which is exactly the same as saying that people who cannot afford to buy a car (or anything else for that matter) should be allowed to steal it
I am not saying what should or should not be allowed. What I am saying is, in that instance you quoted, it does not affect profits. Neither is anyone minus any property as no physical entity has been stolen. Merely "duplicated" which is a copyright issue...
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Old 03-10-2003, 18:33   #11
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I've just got back from Hong Kong and spent some time with my Uncle out there. He watches EVERY film on pirate DVDs, most of which are taken from screeners. Not only that but he doesn't know anyone amongst his friends or colleagues who watch DVD originals - it's mad!! Walk down any street and pick up 5 of the latest blockbusters for Ł10 (that's for all 5). They don't care about the crap covers or the fact they are copies, they just chuck them away when finished with!

Something HAS to be done about this and i guess this is a major step towards stamping it out. It's OK saying you get the screeners of movies you love just to fill the time between the DVD release, but you have still STOLEN it!
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Old 03-10-2003, 18:35   #12
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Another alternative is to get the people who recieved the screeners to send them back.

The problem is that a screener is recieved and the reviewer is happy to let all and sundry borrow it, which is how these things get out...

Except FOTR which was actually found in a bin.
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Old 03-10-2003, 18:40   #13
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Well there are two issues there Barney, that problem in Hong Kong is obviously a major concern and no doubt causes a lot of lost of revenue.

As for whether it is "theft" is purely a matter of interpritation of language and words. I think the term stolen, with regards to copyright infringment is a misdomeaner (sp?), perhaps a new term better suited to it could be coined? Anyway, it certainly isn't "right" in either case.
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Old 03-10-2003, 18:47   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by jnms
Neither is anyone minus any property as no physical entity has been stolen.
You've obviously never heard of 'Intellectual Property', the theft of which is no less a crime than that of material objects.
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Old 03-10-2003, 18:59   #15
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Yeah, "Intellectual" is the keyword there.

I am not arguing or defending either case here Joe, don't get me wrong. Piracy certainly isn't good, and I don't condone it. That said however, neither do I think it is a crime equivenlant to the theft of physical property. We are debating a pointless subject anyway, as you will never get rid of piracy. (Mass distribution of pirated material is a different - though related - issue) It's a very materialistic world view we have here.

At the end of the day it comes down to one word. Control". A corporation (individual) wants (and arguably should) have full control over their product. The grey areas arise when you discuss at what lengths you believe a corporation has rights to go to in order to maintain that control. In addition to the fact how social perception should view such issues in a manner that isn't bogged down with semantics.

Last edited by jnms; 03-10-2003 at 19:01.
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Old 03-10-2003, 19:19   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by jnms
Yeah, "Intellectual" is the keyword there.
Piracy certainly isn't good, and I don't condone it. That said however, neither do I think it is a crime equivenlant to the theft of physical property.
If you think about the amount of sales revenue that is lost from the direct theft of CDs & DVDs from shops and then compare that to the amount lost from illegal copying (and subsequent distribution and downloading via the internet), you must surely see that piracy is actually the more serious crime by a very big margin.

The problem is that the majority of people who download films and music do not even realise that they are commiting a crime. It is so easy to do, without the need to even leave your bedroom, that they are divorced from the reality of their actions.
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Old 03-10-2003, 19:34   #17
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Partially. However I think the issue is more complicated than that. Lost revenue falls into at least these few catagories:

1) Theft of CD's / DVD's from shops.
2) Individual download from the internet
3) Local distribution of the above
4) Mass distribution of the above

These cataogies further break down into at least the following:

1) Revenue loss due to piracy / theft
2) Revenue loss from physical copies stolen.
3) Potential revenue lost due to the above
4) People that copied "Because it was available" who had no intent of buying anyway. i.e. NO revenue loss.


So yes people are commiting a "crime" by breaking a "law". The seriousness of which can be determined in a cash value by equating to revenue lost.

Therefore, under that definition people that had no intent of purchasing the product are causing no harm. Whilst Mass Distributors are causing mass harm. Like all crimes there is a scale. Accusing an individual of commiting a crime after downloading a movie from the 'net is a fair point. However, saying it is a serious crime of piracy is like saying a kid who stole a sweet, is as guilty as those running a mass operation of counterfit sweets.

So of course people are separated from their actions...they are not really pertinant to their way of life in the immediate timeframe / environment.

That's just the tip of the problems caused by a buractratic legal system. As I said, the mass populations world view is far too materialistic, and therefore we do not comprehend the full impact of our comments and actions under these sorts of issues...
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Old 16-10-2003, 15:13   #18
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BBC have a interesting article on this subject here
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Old 20-10-2003, 10:55   #19
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Film Award Ceremony Cancelled
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Old 20-10-2003, 11:30   #20
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This is just a typical reaction by the companies . This imo will hardly make any difference to the amount of money they make.
Not sure about the rest of the world but in Britain cinema attendances usually increase year after year. The sale of dvd movies are also very much on the up and up.
Dont pay the actor so much or the director etc, studio will have more money for movies. Oh they are hard up the studios. I agree with the actors taking a stand against this like Brody, Foster etc
Some little known movies will probably suffer for this.
I have watched screeners. Yet if i want to see a movie at the flicks i will go. Also the same with dvd. If i see the screener, will still buy the movie if i like it.
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