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Screener Ban Blocked
December 5, 2003
Thomas Mennecke
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As broadband proliferates across the Internet, so has the threat of movie piracy, according to the MPAA. Many of these pirated movies begin their life as screeners, which are copies sent to film critics for review. Typically, the quality of these films are less than DVD standards to lessen thier desire in the piracy world. As this entire situation has demonstrated, their efforts have not had the desired effect as the quality of most pirated screeners are quite good.

The MPAA recognized that a significant portion of these movies were making their way onto the Internet. In order to combat this problem, the MPAA decided to ban their distribution. While all major studios agreed with this action (hmmmm), independent file makers immediately protested.

They stated that if such a ban were to take effect, it would prevent many of their movies from reaching film critics, while giving most, if not all the attention to Hollywood. In addition, independent film makers insisted such a ban would equate to fewer awards for independent films. Others were quick to point out that the screener ban was devised to keep independent films out of major award ceremonies.

The MPAA did revise this ban policy in October by proposing to issued VHS cassettes to Academy Award film critics . However, independent film makers insisted this was inadequate because they were still shut out of smaller awards that may help a film win an Academy Award.

Today, U.S. District Judge Michael B. Mukasey agreed with the independent producers, granting a temporary restraining order against the ban. The MPAA has not yet commented on this ruling.

How long this temporary restraining order will last is unclear at this time. While this is an important victory for the independent film community, it is nearly certain the MPAA will appeal.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Unauthorized Distribution :: Warez Scene
Entertainment Industry :: MPAA

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