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MPAA: “Merging Paranoia And Asininity”

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The MPAA has stopped sending out screening copies of films to its members in advance of the awards season due to concerns about piracy. Independent filmmakers cry foul:

    The Independent Feature Project, which represents 9,000 independent filmmakers, said that the decision would severely hurt independent films and filmmakers.

    ….The so-called screeners have been especially beneficial to smaller independent companies, which cannot compete financially with the big studios but have earned numerous Academy Award nominations because many voters saw their films at home.

    On Tuesday, the motion picture association halted distribution of the screeners in an effort to curb piracy, a growing concern among studios.

    The director Robert Altman said in a phone interview that his own films, like “The Player” and “Gosford Park,” as well as acclaimed independent movies like “The Piano,” “Shine” and “Boys Don’t Cry,” would have failed to receive Academy Award nominations and would have suffered at the box office had advance copies not been available to voters of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

    “The members of the academy would not have seen these films,” Mr. Altman said. “There’s so much opposition to this. I’ve been on the phone all day. It’s got to get overturned. It will create this separation between two kinds of product: studio product and independent product.”

    “It’s just a stupid assumption that this will stop piracy,” he added. [NY Times]

There is so much overreaction and conflation of unconnected issues under the rubric of “piracy.” These are their own members they are saying they can’t trust with copies of these films – what does that tell you?

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About Eric Olsen

  • jadester

    i dunno, i can see their point. Leakage of pre-release dvd screeners could greatly lower sales when the dvd is released. Whilst i myself will buy a dvd if it is worth it to me and i can afford it, plenty of people out there won’t. Many films over the past year or so have been leaked onto filesharing networks like kazaa, and they are rips of dvd screeners – this means one (or more) “insiders” who get hold of dvd screeners are ripping them and sharing them. Maybe the mpaa would be better off trying to catch these leakers?