The latest victim of illegal pre-boxoffice video streaming is “American Gangster.”
The Ridley Scott movie, starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, opens wide Nov. 2, but you can see it now, illegally and unethically via bit torrents.
The copy appears to come from an Academy Award “for your consideration” DVD screener, meaning it’s of high quality. Oscar voters are swimming in advance DVDs of unreleased movies come late fall, and they’re sworn not to copy, screen or otherwise distribute. But pretty much anyone in L.A. who’s plugged knows someone who gets the discs.
The MPAA’s piracy fighters tried to shut down the use of DVDs a few years back, but the studios and filmmakers rebelled. Who has the time to go to all those movies, the Academy’s aging voters cry — even though they always get in free. They’re voting for their pals, anyway.
Inside tip: Most of the Oscar votes of the past decade were informed by VHS (aka video horse shit) tapes.”Sicko” and “Hostel II” were among the recent victims of prerelease downloads, although in “Sicko’s” case the publicity probably outweighed the losses.