Oscar Screeners and Industry Denial

At first, I thought the headline on this article was a joke: “Oscar Screener Ends Up on Internet.” It seemed about as likely as “Britney Spears Song Found Online” or “Copy of Photoshop Downloaded By Someone Who Didn’t Pay for It.”

But apparently, the Academy is stating that this is the first time ever that an Oscar screener was found on the Internet. Is that possible? Last year, DVD-ripped copies of nearly every major Oscar contender were available online, with almost all of them marked and tagged as “Screener.” The Pianist, Frida, Gangs of New York, About Schmidt and Road to Perdition, to name a few. This year, files claiming to be screeners of many potential nominees are being routinely swapped via the usual networks.

So is this just more obfuscation from an industry in denial, or is it possible that every one of those downloads originated from other sources?

Also, the liability form that Academy voters are required to sign is interesting:

I agree to ensure that I know, at all times, the whereabouts of all screeners sent to me under this agreement… I agree not to allow the screeners to circulate outside of my residence or office. I agree not to allow them to be reproduced in any fashion, and not to sell them or to give them away at any time…. I agree that a violation of this agreement will constitute grounds for my expulsion from the Academy and may also result in civil and criminal penalties.

Veteran actor Carmine Caridi now faces expulsion from the Academy, most likely for letting his grandkids borrow his copy of “Something’s Gotta Give.”


    It doesn’t actually say in the article anything about this being the first time a screener was leaked, does it?

    Sorry, I was referring to the original L.A. Times article (u/p: waxyorg/waxyorg). It stated, “Any number of movies eligible for Oscar nominations can be found on Internet downloading sites. But the academy said “Something’s Gotta Give” marked the first time a so-called screener sent to an Oscar voter had been made available for illegal copying.”

    I can’t even count the times I’ve seen the text “For Academy Consideration Only” (or something to that effect) scroll by every few minutes on a downloaded screener. They obviously have no idea how common it is. It’s common, really really common.

    without seeing the comments on the newer entry, could be you were unaware of the hullaballoo earlier this year concerning whether or not there would be ANY screeners this year. Film critics have been grumbling about it for months.

    My guess is that the Academy’s efforts to report and track leaks originating specifically with the screeners they distribute (clearly not the same as your list of leaked films as they start appearing before the nominations are in) is a strategic move to firm up the resolve not to provide any screeners next year.

    That poor guy probably couldn’t leak that screener onto the internet if he wanted to. I hope he doesn’t get kicked out of the Academy for that.

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