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Star Wars Trilogy Released 9/21...
September 22, 2004
Thomas Mennecke
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Prereleased cinematic movies are hardly anything new to the Internet these days. In fact, it has become a near expectation to find a prerelease for just about any mainstream movie. Typically, they appear anywhere from a day to several weeks before their theatrical debut. While this has been occurring for years, the prelease phenomena gained mainstream attention when George Lucus threw his famous conniption as "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones" found its way online almost two weeks before its official release.

When it comes to prereleased movies, Usenet (the Newsgroups) continues to be the primary online distribution medium. Its anonymous and dual-use nature make Usenet an attractive choice for many release groups and a non-target of the copyright industry. Despite all the advances of P2P technology in recent years, especially considering the richness of BitTorrent and eDonkey2000, Usenet has yet to be eclipsed.

Continuing in its role as the primary distribution point, the newly released original Star Wars trilogy was being widely distributed on Usenet well before its official release. George Lucas, the writer for all six Star Wars movies and director for episodes one through four, had originally hoped to release the original trilogy sometime in the future. However, Lucas' past experiences with piracy and anticipated future grievances caused forced him to release the trilogy sooner.

"...A lot of people are getting very worried about piracy. That has really eaten dramatically into the sales. It really just came down to, there may not be a market when I wanted to bring it out, which was like, three years from now. So rather than just sit by and watch the whole thing fall apart, better to bring it out early and get it over with." Interesting statement considering one of his main characters, Han Solo, is a pirate.

While George Lucas was quick to release Star Wars to DVD, release groups MaST3rS, Emerald and DGaF were even quicker. A search on VCDQuality.com, NFONews.com or Newzbin.com confirm the trilogy was released on various dates between August 25th and September 20th.

According to forum posts, the trilogy release is said to be of excellent audio and video quality. In addition, according to the NFO (info file), it is released in the preferred NTSC (National Television System Committee) format.

Prereleased movies continue to baffle the movie industry. One of the more recent techniques tried by the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) to thwart prereleased films was to ban the distribution of "screeners." Screeners are high quality DVDs sent to film critics to review a film prior to its release. "Screeners" have been a common, although not dominant, source of pirated movies on the Internet. This effort was crushed however when a judge ruled in favor of the Independent film industry who charged that such a ban would destroy their chances in major film award ceremonies.

The source of the trilogy's current leakage remains a mystery.

Lucas' final installment, "Revenge of the Sith" is due to be released Memorial Day weekend 2005. Although perhaps a bit saddened to say goodbye to the Star Wars saga, at least it will be the last time he has to deal with prereleased films. Although there is always the DVD release...

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

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