Pirated movies on the Internet are available in many forms, but broadly speaking they fall into just a few categories. So called ‘Cams’ are movies recorded in a theater with a hidden camcorder, usually of questionable quality. ‘Telesyncs’ are ‘Cams’ with (usually) better audio and DVD-Rips are copies from an original DVD.
The more interesting category is that of the ‘screener’ – a promo copy of a movie, usually on DVD – and the new arch nemesis of Rambo – the ‘workprint‘ – an unfinished version of the movie, leaked by someone involved in its making. It’s clear as day – you can’t guard everyone, Sly, and although some people might like to try, you can’t lock up everyone in the movie industry either.
According to reports, the quality of the recently leaked Rambo ‘workprint’ seems good, but it carries a very visible watermark saying “Culture Makers Entertainment”, a phrase when put exactly into Google comes up with a surprising result (before this article, it linked to this page).
The fact that another movie is available on BitTorrent is nothing new and not really news these days. But, the leaking of movies by industry insiders before they’re even completed is nothing new either. In fact, it happened in 2005 when a workprint copy of Star Wars Episode III got leaked, which resulted in a FBI raid on the EliteTorrents BitTorrent tracker.
Many people from the BitTorrent community went to prison because of their involvement in handling the leaked copy, yet surprisingly the FBI doesn’t appear to have found the movie industry insider who leaked it. The long arm of the movie industry seems to reach right over its own security issues, concentrating only on the uploaders, and threatening as many of them as it can with prison. It clearly needs to look closer to home.
Yet when Lions Gate President Tom Ortenberg was asked if the leaking of a workprint copy of Hostel 2 would have a financial impact due to this type of piracy, he responded “..it will have no meaningful impact on the box office.”
The new Rambo movie is currently sitting at No.2 in the US Box Office charts, proving that when the movie is considered good, people are happy to go watch it.