Motion Picture Academy Member Unhappy About Being Treated Like A Criminal

from the be-careful-with-those-screeners dept

We’ve covered the rather ridiculous lengths that the MPAA has gone through over the past few years to try to “protect” screener copies of the movies it sends out to Motion Picture Academy members as they vote for the Academy Awards. First, they tried banning DVDs altogether, since they were too easy to copy and upload online. After complaints, and even a lawsuit, the MPAA relented, but started sending special DVDs that could only be played in special DVD players. That was also a cumbersome and annoying process, that was finally dropped this year. However, the industry is still using digital watermarking, to mark exactly who each copy went to so it can track down who leaked it. Apparently, the movies also come with all sorts of forms that require signatures demanding you won’t share the film, as well as reminders as the film starts that you are not to share it with anyone.

It would appear that Academy members are pushing back a little on being treated like criminals just to vote for the Oscars. TorrentFreak points us to a rather amusing tongue-in-cheek analysis of one Academy member about his fears should any one of the DVD screeners get into the wrong hands. He discusses (jokingly) just how much it would cost to properly secure the screeners to guarantee that they wouldn’t accidentally be watched by someone else and concludes it’s just not worth being a member of the Academy anymore, as the cost of protecting the screeners is much higher than the benefit of being a member.

“So that’s the cost of a surveillance camera, guard dog, German lessons, a safe, plus ADT, making a total of $8730.00 as an initial, screener-security investment plus my Academy dues of $250 per year. And who knows how much yearly maintenance of all that would cost. Dog food, vet bills…. $9000.00 for starters plus yearly maintenance. I just couldn’t figure out how to do it. Even if we moved to a smaller apartment. Even if took a job managing an apartment building again; I just couldn?t figure how to do it.

“And I have reluctantly come to a decision. So that I won’t contribute to film piracy by inadvertently allowing one of my screeners to fall into the wrong hands, pirating hands, thereby costing the film industry millions of dollars (not to mention putting me in prison), I will not renew my membership in the Academy.

“It makes me sad, but I’m also happy in a way. Because without those screeners being delivered to my vulnerable little home, with its multiple and human inefficiencies, I know that it will no longer be possible for me to harm the studios, my industry colleagues and the Academy. Yes, so by resigning from the Academy I will contribute to saving the film industry, and I have to be happy about that.”

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Comments on “Motion Picture Academy Member Unhappy About Being Treated Like A Criminal”

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Allie says:

Flip the bird to the MPAA

Good for him. Even though his comments may be more tongue in cheek than serious, if enough Academy members would flip the bird, tell the MPAA to go screw themselves, maybe something would finally change.

Someone’s donating screener videos by the pallet load to various thrift stores in the Los Angeles area. If their precious videos mean so damned much to the MPAA, then why don’t they make some kind of arrangement with the thrift store chains to buy up these illicit goods and burn them in the mansion fireplaces in the Malibu mansions of the rich and famous. Oh but that would cause global warming.

Anonymous Coward says:

F this pompus jerk.

How much does airport security cost? Hell, for that matter, how much does our military cost us every year? Who needs it.

Do you get offended when security checks you at the airport? Do you get offended when the security guy looks in your cart or bag when you walk out of the store?

Hell, we shouldn’t even have cops. Think of how much money we would save.

Dave S says:

Re: Re:

Do you get offended when security checks you at the airport? Do you get offended when the security guy looks in your cart or bag when you walk out of the store?

Why, yes, I do get offended any time I am treated as if I am presumed to be a criminal and told to prove I am innocent, regardless of whether it’s airport security, store security, the MPAA, the police, or even an employer who treats me in that manner.

OKVol says:

Straining at gnats and swalling camels

MPAA acts as though the Academy screeners are the only source of pre-release DVDs in Los Angeles. Frankly, that is BS. The trailer companies get them, reviewers get them, and probably a few hundred more.

When my younger offspring moved back from LA last year, she brought a movie with her. It was in the final version packaging. It was also released to the public two weeks later. A high school friend had given it to her.

The bottom line is that there are several facilities in LA that duplicate, truncate, review, and package DVDs. Copies get spread around. Someone that isn’t a Academy member that can easily get a copy and upload it.

What if this trend continues. The Golden Globes may not be broadcast due to the strike, the Academy dissolves over MPAA draconian measures, and hit movies actually wind up scattered through the year, instead of targeted for Oscar season.

What if the strike continues until we go for a year without TV and movies…Pro Hockey survived. Can the entertainment industry?

Anonymous Coward says:

They could’ve saved a lot of time and energy by marking the screeners “Give us an award you thieving bastard.” What does it say about the industry when the people in the industry who these studios are relying on for awards/award nominations that will increase the value of their IP many times over are obviously also viewed as the enemy?

Inquisition (profile) says:

Finally! Another person that is pissed off when I exit a Wal-Mart and some old bat has to peer at my reciept to make sure that I didn’t steal anything or more likely that the cashier didn’t screw up. Anymore, I tell them to call the cops if they think I stole something, and keep walking.

Oh, and I do feel bad for that screener. When did it become that the default position is that we are all criminals until we prove ourselves innocent?!

rico says:


I read that 2009 was arecord year for the motion picture industry. My mother told me that when she was young , the MPAA said that Television would destrory the movie industry. No one will go to te movies if they can watch T.V.
don’t they think it’s time to just acept the fact the people who download movies, will kill the industry. It doesn’t seem to look that way from my point of view.When all tha actors in hollywood start moving to Compton, then talk to me. It’s all about Greed. these people get paid for one movie more than some people make in a lifetime.
Get off the cross Hollywood. someone else needs the wood.

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