DVD Pirates Outwit Hollywood

Pre-release bootlegging on the rise despite studio security measures
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2007 7:18 AM CDT
The facade of the Apollo theatre is seen where the Premiere of "American Gangster" was held Friday, Oct. 19, 2007 in New York. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The high-profile Oscar hopeful American Gangster opens next week—but it's already available as a pirated DVD for $5 or for free via internet file-sharing sites. American Gangster is the latest example of the upper hand that bootleggers have gained of late in their war against security measures, the Wall Street Journal reports. And the bootlegs are pristine quality, too.

In recent years, the studios' heightened security successfully staved off pre-release movie piracy. This year, however, Ratatouille, Sicko and Hostel: Part II have all appeared online before their cinema release. Studios have suspected in the past that some leaks came from Academy members who screen films to recommend them for Oscars, but no copies of American Gangster were sent out.