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Hollywood's Fear of Technology Behind Continued Use of 'Easily Pirated' Screeners

Posted by: , 10:17 AEDT, Sun January 31, 2016

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Hollywood continues to use easily leaked DVD screeners because they fear digital technology
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Image/Photo Credit: zharth @ Flickr

Hollywood's reluctance to accept new technology may be the reason why top films keep on getting pirated.

It's become a tradition every awards season, that the year's top movies, some still yet to hit cinemas, are leaked online via DVD screeners sent to award voters. Many in the industry are already asking for a more secure way to get films to voters.

But according to a Variety report, Hollywood's fear of new technology and ironically, it's fear of piracy is why studios haven't adopted a more secure method to deliver the latest films to voters.

That more secure method would see the use of digital distribution, via a closed and secure ecosystem.

Despite the fact that sending a DVD via the mail, a DVD that can be taken, misplaced and shared, is far from a secure solution, studio execs have not warmed up to the idea of digital mainly because they fear there are piracy risks associated, despite being told that such a digital system would be 99% piracy proof.

Studios executives even worry about how many devices a digital screener can be viewed on for each voter - worried that too many devices could lead to piracy, despite the fact that a DVD screener can be viewed and shared much easier (and if said screener is uploaded online, the "too many devices" could turn into "unlimited number of devices").

Piracy aside, the other major issue is how to ensure voters are watching films in the way they were intended - not on smartphone screens or 7" tablets - something that could affect the vote. However, there is no guarantee that DVD screeners aren't being watched on small screeen laptops instead of on home theater screens, if they're being watched at all.

But it seems it's only a matter of time before the move to digital occurs, not because Hollywood has started to embrace new technology, but only because old technology can no longer be trusted upon, as this awards season has proven so costly.


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