Though the original rumors of screener copies of Star Wars Episode III spreading via BitTorrent turned out to be fakes, a new workprint of the film was leaked online yesterday. Watermarked with timecodes on every frame, the workprint was made available as a DVD-R by a pirate group named VISA by Wednesday afternoon.
To get an idea of the quality of this workprint, the video below is a 19 second sample excerpt, posted along with the complete film to Usenet newsgroups. (Thanks for mirroring, Leonard.)
(Note: I don't have the movie and have no plans to download it, so please don't ask me how to download it. Also, please don't post torrent links in the comments.)
Update: This entry is linked in a new Reuters article and many media outlets that use the Reuters feeds, like CNN Money, News.com, and ZDNet. The story is also on the front page of Yahoo right now. In the blog world, it was linked by Boing Boing, Fark (indirectly), and Kottke, among others.
The results? My bandwidth is going through the roof. Downloads of the sample video are pushing 82 Mb/s. That's pretty insane, and it's a testament to EV1 Servers that the site is still online and speedy.