Fox Stops Retail Screeners

Discussion in 'DVD' started by TonyD, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    http://www.homemediaretailing.com/in...=2&newsid=8410


    Citing piracy concerns, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will no longer create DVD screeners for retailers.

    Instead, advance copies of movies will be available on Fox’s retail Web site for streaming.

    “Every year, movie pirates seek out copies of screeners to upload to the Internet and create pirated discs sold around the world, causing great harm to our industry,” Devon Scala, manager of fulfillment services for Fox, wrote in a Dec. 13 letter included in the studio’s monthly retail mailing. “Therefore, we will no longer be creating DVD screeners to be included in our monthly mailer.”

    Within 30 days, the letter continued, retailers will be given the exact date when upcoming DVD releases will be available for streaming on the Internet, at www.foxretail.com, the studio’s business-to-business Web site.

    Retailers also will be given details for accessing the films.

    Fox executives did not return phone calls by presstime.
     
  2. PaulP

    PaulP Producer

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    As if ripping a stream is any harder than copying a DVD.
     
  3. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Big deal- their screeners look and sound awful anyways. The sound seems like it's been intentionally degraded, mono and sounding very tinny, and in addition to the "NOT FOR SALE" messages that keep coming up the picture goes into black-and-white for a few minutes too. It's impossible to enjoy the movie that way; I wouldn't waste my time watching any more of them much less copying them! I still don't get what the point of screeners is if they intentionally degrade the quality that much; seems a high-quality disc with just a few scenes or a trailer would be a better idea to promote something without putting the whole thing out there.
     
  4. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    I am wondering if this means that websites like
    us are going to be denied screeners for review
    purposes (which are always final product).

    That is my major concern at this point.
     
  5. Jason_V

    Jason_V Producer

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    See, the people who do get their hands on screeners to illegally do whatever it is they do ruin it for the rest of us. There's got to be a way (and I think this has been talked about before) to code each individual screener so that each studio knows which copy the material came from.

    It's simply not fair to take something the vast majority of people use legally and for its intended purpose away. Maybe the end result is screeners only go to the most reputable people/retailers. But that in itself is subjective.
     
  6. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Blu Ray will hopefully take care of this because if a screener ends up out on the net the rom mark will say who it was.

    Such is life. I get searched at the airport as does everyone now. Punish the innocent to catch the guilty.
     
  7. Jason_V

    Jason_V Producer

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    ^ Okay, not to get too off topic, but is the right to fly being taken away from you because some people abused it? No. All you have to do is a little extra security and watch what you bring on board. When their are no airplanes flying, then we'll compare this again.
     
  8. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    I think you missed something in his analogy. The right to cruise through the airport without security checks is what has been taken away, and it has been taken away because a miniscule group of individuals took advantage of it.

    You can still fly, and Fox is still providing DVDs. In fact, Fox is even still providing screeners, just that they wont be as "convenient"... like how new airport security makes a trip through the airport less convenient than is years past.

    Fox has been digitally tagging their screeners for sometime, and apparently, they now have enough evidence from looking at the digital fingerprints on bootlegs that their screeners were frequently used to make these bootlegs.

    Video piracy has really gotten out of control and the worse it gets the less motivated studios will be in offering early screeners.

    Not that I see this happening any time soon if ever, but if piracy and file sharing reach a point where the studios aren't making a profit then guess what... say good bye to the film industry. No one is going to risk investing millions of dollars on a film if they know there is a good chance all the profits will be eaten up by piracy.
     
  9. FrancisP

    FrancisP Screenwriter

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    Then should they not be interested in finding out who is giving them away? That would make more sense. You are going to give a code for streaming video to someone who may give it to pirates anyway. That assumes the website can't be hacked.

    I suspect that Fox is using this as an excuse to cut their costs.

    The airport is not a good analogy. If someone is found to be a terrorist or have illegal items, everybody is not arrested. The person involved is the only one arrested. What Fox is doing is the equivalent of arresting everybody for the actions of a few.
     
  10. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Well, this thread has certainly taken
    an interesting turn.

    For those of you interested....

    I just received word from our friends at Fox
    that the decision does not include journalists.

    We will continue to receive press screeners, as usual.

    This is great news for all of us who enjoy reading
    product review.
     
  11. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    That's great news, Ron! I was worried about that myself.
     
  12. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Retail screeners have just the movie, nothing else, and have a notice that quality does not reflect that of the final release. Again, I don't really know what the point of them is.
     
  13. Jason_V

    Jason_V Producer

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    Excellent news, Ron. It did scare me that a studio could pull review copies as well as movie screeners, being that I do like to know what I'm buying, quality-wise, before I buy it.
     
  14. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    They're just to help store managers decide how to handle those titles.

    I think piracy is probably more of an issue with discs that are easily scarfed by video store employees than it is with journalists (no bias here of course! [​IMG] ).
     

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