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(Guardian.co.uk)   UK flooded with pirated Two Towers DVDs   ( guardian.co.uk) divider line
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4998 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Jan 2003 at 3:07 AM (15 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2003-01-27 11:15:08 PM  
Pretty weak journalism.

This really has nothing to do with the UK other than that somebody seems to have physically distributed pirate copies there and got caught. Pirated copies of the Two Towers screener DVD have been floating around the internet since the 8th or 9th of January (check out www.vcdquality.com)

There is no reason to think it came from a screener supplied to a member of BAFTA. It could be and most likely is (based on sheer numbers) someone in Hollywood who leaked it. People all over the world have been making personal copies for weeks, but somebody in the UK apparently decided that it was not enough to make a pirated copy for his own use, as most people do. Instead, it seems that he made multiple CD copies and distributed them in some way in the UK, possible with some entrepreneurial intentions.

The studios should encode screeners with secret watermarks of some kind so they can tell whose copy has been compromised. In the past, they have occasionally placed serial numbers on the copies, but the numbers stay in a single stationary position for the duration of the film, and are so obvious that the pirates can see them and simply black them out in the transfer process.

(It is very simple to black them out as long as they don't move around, but it is still possible to black out moving imnages. A satisfactory security fix would include hidden or nearly-hidden movable codes, so that every frame had the serial number in a different non-obtrusive place. Pirates could still go through every frame and overwrite the data, but it would take so much effort that it would never get done.)
2003-01-27 11:22:38 PM  
Wow where can I get one... HEY THAT'S MEAN! STOP DOING THAT!
2003-01-28 01:09:56 AM  
So I just got a new LCD projector at my house with a 12 foot screen. Where can I get one of these?
2003-01-28 01:45:06 AM  
I heard it was also flooding the country of kazaakstan.
2003-01-28 03:19:25 AM  
Yes, pirated movies are the best on a 12 foot screen at home, away from the crying kids and soccer moms on cell phones, and the people next to me saying "What just happened? i dont get it"...

Not that I've ever pirated a movie of course. That would be wrong and immoral and I would definitely burn in hell.
2003-01-28 03:23:32 AM  
Well said Tomasso
2003-01-28 03:28:25 AM  
man, i really hate the sellout pieces of crap who report this to local news stations... that dvd screener has been out for 2 weeks. not that i would know anything about that because i most certainly do not do that kind of thing. kthxbye.
2003-01-28 03:30:58 AM  
2003-01-28 03:37:23 AM  
Looks kinda like this...

Forth pic down and yes the quality is DVD, not CVD.
2003-01-28 04:23:10 AM  
From what I hear the script for episode 3 is already available in pirated hardback
2003-01-28 04:26:22 AM  
It was awesome to see at home, I felt like a hollywood insider.

I can't believe everyone else has this already.
2003-01-28 04:31:32 AM  
More than 10,000 illegal copies of The Two Towers have been seized in Britain according to the Federation Against Copyright Theft .

10,000 only? I'm guessing that the pirate would have made like 100,000 plus copies by now.
2003-01-28 05:05:46 AM  
From what I hear the script for episode 3 is already available in pirated hardback

My monitor has just had a coffee rinse.
2003-01-28 05:06:55 AM  
You can get these for about a dollar in Vietnam.
2003-01-28 05:15:54 AM  
Well then... Perhaps they should release the movie officially on DVD now? Make it a plain / vanilla no extras version for a tenner. Instead of making people wait till august for the non special edition and some tv specials most people have seen before and then milking people again with the 2 extended versions a couple of months after.
2003-01-28 05:31:10 AM  
Crazyjim and FarkAll:

My keyboard just got another coffee spray...
2003-01-28 05:57:09 AM  
its very good quality. very.
2003-01-28 06:21:38 AM  
heh trust me, i know someone who is a bafta member and he gets all the screeners, as i get to see them and copy them at will theres definately some truth to it, then again i dont mass produce the things, but if i was of a less sound mind i could easily burn 10,000 copies and sell em for a fiver each, luckily i just want the copies for myself, but it is that easy.

they are dvd quality and the 15 mins bafta screener thing though annoying is easily forgotten about. and because my mates vote counts for the baftas (or my vote as he cant be bothered and i get to vote, i chose arnie for best actor, strangely he didnt win ;) ) it means that they are desperate to send him every dvd going, he has a fine collection and all for the price of a bafta membership (which doesnt come cheap)

also its very very easy to tell where the dvd comes from if its a screener as it says Oscar OR bafta, so if it had bafta im sorry but it came from england....

and yeah i agree with snipe they should release an early version for cheap then whack on the extras and nice touches for a proper release later with added footage.
2003-01-28 06:32:42 AM  
spooky said mate just called me up, hes not been sent a copy of two towers yet, so its not him :)
2003-01-28 08:54:12 AM  
How timely! I just received some spam regarding a DVD release of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers:

The New releases list for this week is awesome especially for Leonardo DiCaprio and Lord Of The Rings Fans. We have got Gangs Of New York Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Lord Of The Rings : The Two Towers Starring: Elijah Wood available in DVD edition now! Beside this, we have got thousands of VCDs and DVDs movie available at www.vcdmoviebox.com.

Thanks, but I think I'll wait for New Line's release.
2003-01-28 08:55:37 AM  
If I had a umm...friend who had a 717,496 KB movie file and he wanted to break it into SVCD sized pieces for display on a TV, how would he do that?
2003-01-28 08:55:56 AM  
Yeah, I got a SVCD copy from a movie pirate friend at work. It has "For your Consideration" all through it.

Ah, Piracy. I've seen it in the theatre, but now don't have to wait and pay $50 for the DVD set.
2003-01-28 09:04:26 AM  
There is no reason to think it came from a screener supplied to a member of BAFTA

except that every 15 minutes it says "for your consideration"
2003-01-28 09:12:14 AM  
MightyLoPan: I think that file will fit on a regular 80-min CD.. but I could be wrong.
2003-01-28 09:20:23 AM  
Thanks, Sonician. I'll...my friend will give that a try when he gets home.
2003-01-28 09:32:34 AM  
MightyLoPan: This is from Roxio CD Creator's FAQ:

You can expect to fit about:

80 min x (60 sec) x (75 sectors) x (2 kbytes) = 720,000 kilobytes = approximately 703 megabytes of data onto an 80-minute disc.

Hope this helps.
2003-01-28 09:42:53 AM  
Hay for peet sakes its Hollywood.....liberal...democratic...why would any one think that they wouldn't lie cheat and steal?....its what they do. They make movies but you do not, repeat do not trust them honestly
2003-01-28 10:23:02 AM  
[image from cybercrime.gov too old to be available]

Piracy RULES!
2003-01-28 12:28:18 PM  
I, for one, am hoping that this "incident" doesn't cause the academy to be more protective of the dvd screeners in the future...not that I would ever pirate them or anything....
2003-01-28 12:38:29 PM  
I have a copy of the screen capture, I'll have to download the DVD version. And don't worry, I intend to buy it once the extended edition is released. The other 90 some movies I downloaded are just plain stolen though :)
2003-01-28 12:47:36 PM  
Not sure about SVCD (MPEG-2), but VCD (MPEG-1) is 10 megs a minute. Why not just crap the VCD player and get a nice Divx player? Unless you have a HDTV you can't tell the difference betweeen Divx ad DVD.
2003-01-28 12:49:14 PM  
Or better yet, just get a video card for your computer that can connect to the TV. Probably be cheaper than a DVD/Divx player.
2003-01-28 12:52:49 PM  
SVCD is 20 megs a minute, that is, you can only fit 40 minutes of an SVCD on an 80 minute CD. For Two Towers you'll end up with a total of 5 discs. I actually saw someone who had an SVCD version, and I felt like slapping him silly for having to get up 4 times in the middle of the movie to change discs.
2003-01-28 01:04:00 PM  
The DVD is available on direct connect ... just FYI
2003-01-28 01:20:35 PM  
I discovered the wonders of Fast Track today..
Man, what a blessing it is.
2003-01-28 01:30:11 PM  
Unless you have a HDTV you can't tell the difference betweeen Divx ad DVD.

What the hell kind of crappy TV are you viewing your VCDs on?

Wake up people, VCDs look and sound like shiat. Why not just stick to VHS if youre so happy with VCD quality??

If you are too cheap to spend 15/20 bucks on a movie, you suck.
2003-01-28 01:38:50 PM  
I love how the MPAA always gets up in arms about how movie piracy is costing them millions or billions of dollars (you know, pull a figure out of the air) and bandies around "news" articles like this as ammunition to try and get the government to force the tech industry to implement anti-copy protection into all digital devices. They basically want everyone else to pay for and enforce their copyright interests... and here's the best part... in the meantime they can't even prevent a hand full of their own academy members from releasing DVD screeners to the net (as this article demonstrates). If they were really concerned with piracy, perhaps they should try and get their own house in order first!
2003-01-28 01:49:19 PM  
QuithEx: I said Divx, not VCD.
2003-01-28 02:06:08 PM  
My bad.

DivX still sucks though, not as bad as VCD, but sucks none the less.

I guess I'm one of the few people that still views film as an artform, and not just something you do while eating popcorn for an hour and a half. Granted, the Adam Sandler opus, Big Daddy doesnt fit in my view of art, more like Kubrick, Fincher, Pixar, Orson Wells, Kurosawa, Todd Solondz, etc. Therefore I respect the artist by
1. Not pirating their works
2. Viewing/hearing their art as it was intended- in the theater or on a nice flat-screen TV with DVD (not some grainy-pixelated piece of shiat I could download off WinMX, etc)

Just my .02, flame away at me. Sorry if I'm rambling.
2003-01-28 02:39:48 PM  
"not some grainy-pixelated piece of shiat I could download off WinMX, etc"

The key is to only get the DVD rips. The compression is usualy much better, and they can usualy squeeze it onto a 750MB CD. It depends on wheter the person who ripped and encoded the DVD knew what they were doing. On my computer (1600x1200 resolution), I can tell it's not DVD, but on my TV (525 scan lines)it is indistinguishable from the real thing.
2003-01-28 02:51:29 PM  
01-28-03 08:55:56 AM Heterodyne
Yeah, I got a SVCD copy from a movie pirate friend at work. It has "For your Consideration" all through it.

Ah, Piracy. I've seen it in the theatre, but now don't have to wait and pay $50 for the DVD set.

Hmm, someone else with a friend in the academy ....
Well, I watched it too, dvd to vhs job, not bad.
Still, after shelling out about $30 for the fotr original set, then 70 for the extended one with the cool bookends, I have to say this- I for one will do it again, buy both and be happy.
But, in the meantime, I can pick the movie apart ( book vs film) over and over until I gets the dvd, and not have to listen to some brats and parents laughing at a schizonphrenic cgi character having an argument with himself...
2003-01-28 04:45:38 PM  
the "for your consideration" wording on copies supplied to BAFTA voters is exactly identical to the copies supplied to Oscar voters
2003-01-28 06:23:00 PM  
www.vcdhelp.com will tell you everything you need to know about burning and playing files from a comp. It has a list of dvd players and formats they will play and how to convert anything. I just picked up a cyberhome dvd player for 60 bucks from bestbuy that plays anything. its great watching movies burned from svcds. quality is perfect. I just need to dig up some money to get a nice dvd burner to make some more back ups....heheheh =]
2003-01-28 06:37:20 PM  
Five dollars says they've all come from internet DivXs... the screeners of LOTR-1 are what my selfmade booty VCDs were sourced from - and they look fine too ;)

One day, with a half decent paying job, I shall be able to afford that directors cut DVD set, and maybe a few other films. For now I shall have to be content with seven or eight mainly budget priced or rare DVDs, half of them purchased with other peoples money, and a boxfull of 20 VCDs that altogether still didn't cost as much as one normal silver disc.
(right now, as a student, my time is worthless so effectively the 35-50 split hours from start of download to viewing on TV doesn't 'cost' the $200 it might otherwise do. anyway the pc does most of it, i just have to work maybe fifteen-twenty minutes..)

PS. My LOTR VCD is single disc. Yes, a single 80m CDR. And so long as you don't have a 30" widescreen it's still nice to watch. Either go to the aforementioned VCDHelp (a great resource, and very n00b tolerant considering the vast amount of dumb and repeat questions) or ask me, for details on how to do similar..
2003-01-28 06:51:26 PM  
QuithEx, get yourself one of the DVD rips of Spirited Away sometime. It's DivX, with variable bit rate sound, on just two CDRs. You copy them to hard disk and run through a joiner program, voila, a 1.3gb video to double click and watch. My point being... the MPG4 compression is good enough now that you cannot tell it from the DVD, save for the few % drop in resolution (720->640). Gawd knows i tried. I scoured that file, looking for it to screw up some place. Not a sausage. It was -perfect-, and the general quality of properly made Divx's are similar. (Bad ones, of course, are really dire)

Then I CQ'd it to videoCD - use CQ, a special variable bit rate mode, it really works wonders - it could do with being a little less pixelated, but seeing as I'm just waiting for the UK DVD to come on-line, it's a nice stopgap.

Oh and even though it can't match DVD, it whizzes all over VHS and PCs, sorry. Could get a DivX player, but I'm not mad enough to blow $500 on something designed to save me money on films when I could buy 25 DVDs at the same price. Plus most DivX players can't handle anything considerably above VCD quality anyway, which rules out a massive chunk of my collection. Could hook up the PC to the TV, but I don't fancy the fan noise and excessive power usage, like having surround sound or at least decent stereo output, and prefer remote controls that are both 1/ remote, and 2/ work (and 3, are easy to use). Plus the average PC-TV picture quality blows donkeys.

DVD VCD player things rule. Now, for DVD-RW to drop in price, so the single disc size barrier jumps up and effective 40% (5.5x capacity over 4x resolution; or even better sums for SVCD), then we're really rocking.
2003-01-28 06:55:40 PM  
To cover my own ass..

There are at least two DVDs and one VHS in my collection I would never have even f$cking known about much less bought had I not discovered them through the net. (similar to CD collection; can count at least 10 that were unknown until i came across mp3s or taped them from somewhere).
It's a new form of marketing and film evolution if you will. You get a very cheap, mid-fi, feature-free taste test copy of the film off the web. Watch it. If you feel it's good enough to warrant more than one repeat showing, you should at least get the VHS or the DVD on budget in a couple years. If it screams to you 'this is bloody brilliant', then it's time to hit the DVD stores in anticipation of release, for the fullscreen, high rez, surround sound, special features experience.

Or the cinema queues if it's that early of a bootleg (such as many are in the UK...)
2003-01-28 06:59:39 PM  
And if it's crap, either leave it to rot in the 'rainy day desperation' end of your rack (you know, for times when you would otherwise put on the tv and scan for some film, any film, so long as it's free entertainment, anyway)... or give the disc away, erase the rewritable, and forget about it.

The rubbish films die from being rubbish, rather than succeeding through well engineered hype (stares at SWEp1), and the good ones succeed on their own merits rather than dying if someone cocks up the ad campaign (stares critically at disney, amongst others).
2003-01-28 07:30:52 PM  
Can someone please tell me how fasttrack works? im having some trouble. Thanks
2003-01-28 09:07:14 PM  
EddyH wrote: Five dollars says they've all come from internet DivXs...

Sorry, you're out 5 dollars. The internet movie scene tends to get 3 copies of everything. In decreasing order of quality, you have DVD > DVD-R, DVD > SVCD, and DVD > DIVX or XVID. The DVD copies going around are hopefully from the DVD > DVD-R version.

Actually, for Two Towers, there were 2 DVD-R releases. One was re-encoded to fit on a single DVD-R which gave a pretty low bitrate for a 4 hour movie, and the other was on 2 DVD-Rs and was identical to the DVD screeners that went out.

For the guy saying that VCD sucks, yes, it does. All of these formats are much better, though. SVCD is far closer to DVD than it is to VCD. My pile of recent DVD screeners on SVCD on my DVD player waiting for me to watch them just keeps growing...

I don't know why this is such a big deal, I don't remember seeing all these articles last year when the Fellowship DVD screener rips showed up around this time.

And like the other poster, I too have bought many DVDs that I would otherwise never have heard of if I hadn't downloaded the SVCD DVD rip at some point. It's not like I used to go to the theater or buy movies a lot, so they're not losing anything from me. I bought my DVD player a year and a half ago so I could download movies and watch them, and that's resulted in me giving FAR more money to the movie studios than I ever have before.
2003-01-28 09:48:42 PM  
Its there own fault for having a DVD copy not locked in a vault .

Welcome to the snowball internet farktards!

Gonna watch it tonight.
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