Another awards season, another online leak of contending films. Among the latest victims of the piracy scourge are the Weinstein Company’s Quentin Tarantino epic The Hateful Eight and Fox’s Leonardo DiCaprio-Tom Hardy period drama The Revenant. TorrentFreak, which tracks news about copyright, piracy and firesharing, reported today that high-quality copies of both films have begun circulating around the web ahead of their Christmas Day theatrical bows.
The site said Hive-CM8, one of the groups behind the leaks, claims to have screeners for dozens of films and will upload them one by one in the coming days and weeks. “DVDScreener 1 of 40,” it quotes the group as saying. “Will do them all one after each other, started with the hottest title of this year, the rest will follow.” The group also has leaked such awards-season fodder as Joy, Steve Jobs and Legend.
Of course, web leaks of high-profile — if not necessarily Oscar-contending — films are nothing new. Last year, the federal government got involved after a digital copy of muscle-bound sequel The Expendables 3 was stolen ahead of its theatrical bow and Lionsgate sued a number of file-sharing sites. The Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement, aka ICE, got on the case after the distrib reached out to several law-enforcement agencies.
And The Hateful Eight was center stage of a huge web-leak controversy nearly two years ago when it was nothing more than a screenplay. Tarantino’s script was leaked online in January 2014, and the filmmaker threatened to shelve the project entirely. Gawker published the script a couple of days later, and Tarantino sued the site. He dropped the infringement suit a few months later.