FBI Traces Hateful Eight Screener Leak to Point Break Producer

FBI Traces Hateful Eight Screener Leak to Point Break Producer

First the script, and now the screener. Quentin Tarantino just can't catch a break.

Because people simply cannot wait until a movie is released in theaters nowadays (or simply don't want to pay to see it), screener copies of both Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight and Alejandro Inarritu's The Revenant were leaked online earlier this week. The former has been downloaded by over 864,282 unique IP addresses in the past 48 hours, while the latter has risen to a ridiculous 1,145,840 addresses in that same time period, marking the biggest piracy takeover since the events that inspired Captain Phillips.

As is usually the case when this sort of thing happens, the FBI was brought in to determine where the source of the leak might be, and I know so little about their methods of doing so that I won't even attempt to explain them to those of you who likely do. In any case, The Hollywood Reporter outed the supposed source of the leak this morning: Alcon Entertainment co-CEO and Point Break reboot producer Andrew Kosove.

Andrew Kosove, co-CEO of production-finance company Alcon Entertainment, was sent the "screener" copy of Hateful Eight for year-end awards consideration. That copy was signed for by an office assistant and later shared online, where it is now circulating on multiple file-sharing sites. Sources say officials with the FBI, working in conjunction with distributor The Weinstein Co., have been able to pinpoint Kosove's copy of the film as the source of the leak from a watermark on the DVD sent to him. FBI agents are visiting Alcon's Century City headquarters Tuesday to determine the chain of custody of the DVD and who is responsible for its uploading. Alcon is cooperating fully in the investigation.

Kosove, however, is not only denying being behind the leak but even laying a finger on the screener DVD his company reportedly received.

"The screener copy of 'The Hateful Eight' that was sent to me at Alcon Entertainment never touched my hands nor was I aware that it had been delivered," said Kosove.

"In addition to cooperating with the FBI, we are going to conduct our own investigation to find out what happened. Piracy is a threat to our entire industry and as filmmakers we will not tolerate such illegal and despicable behavior."

For what it's worth, the source of film leaks have been misattributed before, especially during "Oscar screener season." Last year, Ellen DeGeneres was linked to a leaked screener of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which surfaced on file-sharing pirate networks with the watermark "Ellen DeGeneres" just weeks before her gig hosting the 2014 Academy Awards. Degeneres was later cleared of any wrongdoing, so it's more than likely that Kosove is, as the Reporter puts it, "a victim in this leak rather than the perpetrator."

The true source of the leak will likely be unveiled in the following weeks pending the FBI's investigation, but one can only hope that the leaked screeners don't do too much damage to either The Hateful Eight or The Revenant's returns. Both are original, inventive properties from established directors, which we're seeing less and less of in the current moviescape, and should be supported accordingly.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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If it was signed for by an assistant, that assistant is the only person who we know for a fact had his hands on it. Seems more likely he did it. Of course, if that's obvious to little ol' me, then surely the FBI agents working the case have thought of it too.

P.S. Thanks

Covarr:
If it was signed for by an assistant, that assistant is the only person who we know for a fact had his hands on it. Seems more likely he did it. Of course, if that's obvious to little ol' me, then surely the FBI agents working the case have thought of it too.

P.S. Thanks

Pretty much this. Seeing as ripping a DVD can take barely twenty minutes to a half-hour (or even less, depending on CPU and drive speeds), I don't have trouble imagining the assistant ripping the screener over his lunch break.

Heck, I'd even assume it's an innocent mistake. Not all pirates do what they do because they can't wait for an official release or because they feel like sticking it to the Man; it could be that some assistant knew someone who was a huge Tarantino fan, so they figured nobody would mind if the files were duplicated. Not everyone realizes the implications of software or file piracy, especially if they've never set foot on a file-sharing site.

All you need is someone who's thoughtless but still filled with good intentions to pass the wrong file to the wrong person. Said wrong person then goes "Sweet, I'll upload this for my peers over at ISOHunt or whatever!" and does just that.

You know, they really could stop making screeners altogether. I mean, god forbid, an award voter might actually have to pay to see a movie or even drive to a free screening. This has always driven me crazy. We have to sit through PSAs before movies, get threatened with federal prison with warning signs at theaters, sit through warnings at home when watching legally purchased blu rays, and have our tax money spent to track down "pirates," all because movie studios send out free movie copies in a elitist marketing ploy. Why bother securing decent distribution when you can book a few theaters in New York and Los Angeles, and then send out a batch of watermarked DVD-Rs to get your movie noticed? If you listen to podcasts from LA, you know that they all pass the movies around so often that they barely bother to watch them all. I guess being friends with an actor or producer or a friend of a friend doesn't make you a pirate. You're just innocently borrowing it. Besides, if they didn't want people to see it, why would they have even sent it out?

In any case, I'm happy to pay a premium with The Hateful Eight because at least they're doing something special with the 70mm format. This is a Tarantino movie, though. Why the hell do they think they need to send out screeners for this movie they're already spending so much to market? I'm guessing there aren't Force Awakens screeners circulating, but maybe I'm wrong. I'm definitely not saying they "deserved" to have their movie pirated, but I'd really appreciate it if they'd stop the practice of giving away their movies for free to VIPs. I mean, the guy with cancer had to launch a big internet campaign and JJ Abrams had to personally oversee it to make sure he could see the movie before he died. But, you're a producer of a remake of Point Blank? Here you go. Oh, you're not here? We'll leave it with your assistant then.

Seems like a stupid waste of FBI resources and time. Also, if they can track this, why don't they track the Daesh internet usage? Money?

Xsjadoblayde:
Seems like a stupid waste of FBI resources and time. Also, if they can track this, why don't they track the Daesh internet usage? Money?

Eh, I'd suspect they weighed the cost of the investigation against just how much they could make with the fines that will incur.

I blame advertisement companies in this case, not the people who downloaded it.

The advertisement companies shove your face in the trailor for the Revenant, showing it to you again and again, and saying "Omg, this movie is so awesome man! You gotta see it! It will complete your life!" And basically try to brainwash you into seeing it. And then set a random date for it to come out. And untill it comes out, they keep the hype up, gotta oversaturate that market.

And then they act surprised people pirate it.

The worst thing, is that now they advertise for a movie coming out half a year, to a year from the day you are seeing the trailor. Wtf is up with that? And they are STILL surprised that people are pirating it to see it early? Ridiculous.

I saw a trailor for The Revenant when I saw Terminator Gynisis. It still isnt out?! Jesus!

When I do go out and see movies, ill watch the previews and trailors (fuck you Movie theatres, with your "movie starts at 4:15, so you are there at 4pm, but they play previews and trailors untill 4:45 "Fuuuuuu, why not say 4:45 then?; Wouldnt be s bad, but some theatres do start the movies at the time, so you havr to be there at 4pm anyways.)

Er, back to my point lol. When I see a trailer, I think, "Oh wow, that looks pretty good, maybe ill see it." Then it says "Coming soon half a year from now."
And im disappointed. Do you movie companies really want my first emotion to be disappointment?

And I ALLWAYS forget about the advertised movie when it comes out.

Tldr- movie theatres shove your face in the movie, set a (seemingly) arbitrary date, and act surprised people pirate it to watch it early.

Also im not condoning piracy, im pointing out the fallacy in this logic.

Feel bad for those guys, yeah a slew of these screeners made it online, high quality too. I'm actually planning to go see hateful 8 tomorrow I hadnt originally planned to, I enjoyed QTs stuff but usually not enough to go see it in theatres. However between this and the disney thing hes gotten completely screwed over. Hateful 8 appears to only have two showings, in all of denver which is insane. Corporate bullshit. I wish I could return my Star Wars ticket, Disney is really being assholes.

piscian:
Feel bad for those guys, yeah a slew of these screeners made it online, high quality too. I'm actually planning to go see hateful 8 tomorrow I hadnt originally planned to, I enjoyed QTs stuff but usually not enough to go see it in theatres. However between this and the disney thing hes gotten completely screwed over. Hateful 8 appears to only have two showings, in all of denver which is insane. Corporate bullshit. I wish I could return my Star Wars ticket, Disney is really being assholes.

I wanted to make you aware that the reason Hateful Eight is only playing at 2 theaters in Denver is because this is a special roadshow screening of real 70mm film prints. The Weinstein Company actually bought up as many 70mm projectors as they could find and refurbished them so they could offer them along with one of the prints to any theaters in larger markets that wanted to participate but didn't have their own 70mm capable equipment. There will be a much wider digital release in January that will probably be at every multiplex in Denver. You, however, will have the pleasure of watching an actual analog film projected in the largest format (Ultra Panavision) ever made outside of IMAX, which will look clearer, brighter and more lifelike than even the fanciest new 4k digital projection. Even if the film ends up not being to your taste, you will have a very beautiful picture to look at. Also, there are only 3 theaters in all of Canada showing this version, and I am driving over 700 miles next week so I can see it in this format (I'll also visit family while I'm there, but the movie was the catalyst for the trip).

(The other reason for the limited release is to qualify for Academy Award consideration in this calendar year, which a lot of other "prestige" films do at this time of year.)

McGuinty1:

piscian:
Feel bad for those guys, yeah a slew of these screeners made it online, high quality too. I'm actually planning to go see hateful 8 tomorrow I hadnt originally planned to, I enjoyed QTs stuff but usually not enough to go see it in theatres. However between this and the disney thing hes gotten completely screwed over. Hateful 8 appears to only have two showings, in all of denver which is insane. Corporate bullshit. I wish I could return my Star Wars ticket, Disney is really being assholes.

I wanted to make you aware that the reason Hateful Eight is only playing at 2 theaters in Denver is because this is a special roadshow screening of real 70mm film prints. The Weinstein Company actually bought up as many 70mm projectors as they could find and refurbished them so they could offer them along with one of the prints to any theaters in larger markets that wanted to participate but didn't have their own 70mm capable equipment. There will be a much wider digital release in January that will probably be at every multiplex in Denver. You, however, will have the pleasure of watching an actual analog film projected in the largest format (Ultra Panavision) ever made outside of IMAX, which will look clearer, brighter and more lifelike than even the fanciest new 4k digital projection. Even if the film ends up not being to your taste, you will have a very beautiful picture to look at. Also, there are only 3 theaters in all of Canada showing this version, and I am driving over 700 miles next week so I can see it in this format (I'll also visit family while I'm there, but the movie was the catalyst for the trip).

(The other reason for the limited release is to qualify for Academy Award consideration in this calendar year, which a lot of other "prestige" films do at this time of year.)

Sweet thank you I didnt know that, last I had heard he was having trouble getting a release because Disney require theaters to use the screen real estate for TFA. Now I'm excited.

Covarr:
If it was signed for by an assistant, that assistant is the only person who we know for a fact had his hands on it.

Also the delivery guy and everyone up the chain.

Xsjadoblayde:
Seems like a stupid waste of FBI resources and time. Also, if they can track this, why don't they track the Daesh internet usage? Money?

This seems to imply that the US Government doesn't always bend over backwards for corporations whenever they whine about not making enough money.

OT: Goddamn this movie has had difficult production and marketing :/

Still can't wait to see it in cinema. Even more so now, just to show my support for Tarantino.

I'm sure glad all of the murders, assaults, rapes, robberies, and other violent crimes have been solved so our government has time and money to go after someone who uploaded a movie!

Hmm. It's almost like it's a stupid fucking idea to send DVDs of a highly anticipated, publicly unreleased film out to different VIPs who may in fact be loaded to the gills with enough money to fly/drive in luxury out to a private screening and be back in a day. (Or, the production company and anyone else who cares about some BS awards can pay for travel expenses.) It is an even more moronic idea to send those screeners out and allow anyone but the specific recipient sign for it, "busy schedules" and "I'm too important to come pick up something being delivered." be damned.

"Piracy is a threat to our entire industry and as filmmakers we will not tolerate such illegal and despicable behavior." There is no denying it does damage, but I think a bigger threat is your inflating ticket prices. QT films always sell, but if it weren't for the Comic book movie boom, the state of cinema might be a lot different with the new legitimate ways to get a movie to your home.

Pinky's Brain:

Covarr:
If it was signed for by an assistant, that assistant is the only person who we know for a fact had his hands on it.

Also the delivery guy and everyone up the chain.

True, but I don't know how well those other people are documented. Do they keep logs of what delivery people work what routes and have what packages? I guess they probably have to for just such a scenario. Still, the assistant didn't just handle it; he has a signed document verifying that he handled it. That's gotta count for quite a bit.

P.S. Thanks

rembrandtqeinstein:
I'm sure glad all of the murders, assaults, rapes, robberies, and other violent crimes have been solved so our government has time and money to go after someone who uploaded a movie!

You do realize the FBI can't get involved with those unless they crossed state lines, happened on government property, or involved a government official right? No? You just want to complain about criminals being investigated? Ok.

OT- This was probably the assistant, that's where someone would have the means, time, and equipment to rip the files. The delivery driver didn't and the co-ceo wouldn't risk his cushy job and outrageously large paycheck for this. Enjoy your fines and/or jail time dumbass!

JaredJones:
one can only hope that the leaked screeners don't do too much damage to either The Hateful Eight or The Revenant's returns. Both are original, inventive properties from established directors, which we're seeing less and less of in the current moviescape, and should be supported accordingly.

They wont. People who pirate screeners werent planning on going to theaters anyway. the actual loss here is going to be miniscule. Now had the Blu-Ray leaked before Blu-ray release, that could actually impact sales.

Covarr:
If it was signed for by an assistant, that assistant is the only person who we know for a fact had his hands on it. Seems more likely he did it. Of course, if that's obvious to little ol' me, then surely the FBI agents working the case have thought of it too.

P.S. Thanks

or he could have put it in a drawer with another 100 movies "sent for consideration" and some other personnel took it at some point.

Sarge034:

rembrandtqeinstein:
I'm sure glad all of the murders, assaults, rapes, robberies, and other violent crimes have been solved so our government has time and money to go after someone who uploaded a movie!

You do realize the FBI can't get involved with those unless they crossed state lines, happened on government property, or involved a government official right? No? You just want to complain about criminals being investigated? Ok.

Not all crimes are equally worth investing resources in investigating. "Crimes" that cause no measurable harm other than maybe possibly unprovably slightly decreasing the ROI for corporations should be given the lowest priority.

rembrandtqeinstein:
Not all crimes are equally worth investing resources in investigating. "Crimes" that cause no measurable harm other than maybe possibly unprovably slightly decreasing the ROI for corporations should be given the lowest priority.

Cool, so you're saying if someone stole your car you wouldn't want the police to spend resources on investigating it? What with all those rapes and murders and such going on and you having insurance... Justification is such a weak argument, pirates steal shit. Stealing shit is a crime. Either we hold everyone to the law or the law becomes meaningless because it becomes pick and choose. What, you like the law keeping police from unlawful search and seizure? They decided to ignore that one today. Not to say the law is perfect by any means, but if the law is broke change the law instead of giving the corporations legitimate numbers to point at for why the law is necessary.

 

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