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Friday, June 22, 2007

WSJ on Piracy ... Next Week's Web Video Summit

- The Wall Street Journal covers summer movie piracy, including illegally posted versions of 'Ratatouille,' 'Sicko,' and 'Hostel: Part II.' Merissa Marr and Sarah McBride write:

    Weinstein Co. has sent private investigators out to hunt for the culprit who leaked its coming Michael Moore documentary "SiCKO," after it appeared online last week. And director Eli Roth recently blamed a weak opening of his horror sequel "Hostel: Part II" on the prerelease availability of pirated copies online.

    While not unprecedented, the availability of these movies online may suggest that the studios are still losing some significant battles in their war on piracy. After a surge in piracy a few years ago, including leaks of movies like "Hulk" weeks before its theatrical release in 2003, the studios seemed to successfully crack down, setting up metal detectors at prerelease screenings, cutting back on screener DVDs, and instituting tough security procedures at production labs.

    Now, as the studios desperately try to build buzz for their movies in one of the most crowded summers ever, they may have opened themselves up to a greater risk of prerelease piracy with tactics such as holding numerous prescreenings of their movies.

Disney apparently held 800 sneak previews of 'Ratatouille' last weekend, and the pirated version may have come from one of those, infiltrated by someone toting a camcorder.

- Next Wednesday and Thursday is the Web Video Summit in San Jose. I've got one guest pass to it, and I'd like to give it to a CinemaTech reader who:

1. Will use it, and
2. Is willing to send in a blog post about (at least) one of the sessions that we can post here.

So send me an e-mail if you're interested: kirsner at

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