MPAA Bans Oscar Screeners
September 30, 2003 — Hollywood, California
In a move that some have called it the Oscar's "Blockbuster," studios have agreed not to send Video or DVD screeners or full length copies of movies to members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in consideration for the 76th Annual Academy Awards to be held on February 29, 2004.
The decision comes after a long heated debate between art house filmmakers, studios and the Motion Picture Association of America, the governing body of the major studios. The screeners are often movies which are not yet available to the public on video nor have been released theatrically. Jack Valenti, the president of the MPAA called the new screener policy "a determined commitment to combat digital piracy and to save movie jobs in the future."
The MPAA recently launched a new and emotional in theater anti-piracy campaign, Movies, Theyre Worth It to educate film goers the affects of piracy to the unfamiliar artists and talented individuals who work behind the scenes of motion pictures. See www.respectcopyrights.org . Many Digital Media specialists in the industry have speculated that while DVD and home video prices are low and are released closer to theatrical dates, a wide gap still exists to allow users to download movies from the Internet citing too few titles and a major technology hurdle which seldom works.
In years prior, and especially since the studios began creating DVD versions of its screeners for Academy consideration, the videos were sent out to the Academys members that resulted a personal video rental store in fashion. Many of the screeners quickly fell into the hands of the general public and media pirates, whom proceeded to duplicate and distribute the screeners all over the world on the black market and easily available on the most popular Internet file sharing networks such as Kazaa, Gnucleus and Bear Share.
This comes at a time when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided to move Hollywoods most famous ceremony forward a month to thwart studios multi-million dollar Oscar campaigns. Some felt the studios fierce Oscar marketing efforts have adversely affected the outcome of the awards in recent years. So what kind of marketing mayhem can we expect by the studio's this year? Well just have to wait and see.
Source: CountingDown.com: The Ultimate Fan Site