In Hollywood, piracy is an unfortunate fact of life nowadays. Hackers and thieves have honed their craft over the years and can generally get a DVD copy of a movie onto the internet not long after the first advance copy gets printed and shipped to whomever it was printed for. There’s almost always someone in the delivery chain sneaky enough to rip it, upload it, and get people viewing their stolen copy.
Super 8 is no exception. The film’s producers over at Paramount sent Howard Stern a copy of the film before its release several months ago so the mega-host could be educated about the movie and have an opinion when he interviews the film makers. Unfortunately, there was a break in the chain and someone along the way leaked this puppy online, according to Deadline, causing much outrage from both Paramount and from Stern’s camp.
The copy is watermarked to Paramount which isn’t uncommon, but this particular copy was specifically marked “H Stern,” a practice that's becoming more common as studios try to protect their property from leaking. The problem is that the discs still have to go through so many people that it’s still virtually untraceable unless the culprit makes a mistake in his short process from disc to download.
The investigation at Paramount hasn’t yielded anything concrete, but an insider has reported that they don’t think it’s anyone from Stern’s camp that’s behind it; still, don’t be shocked if Stern himself launches an investigation to make sure that there’s nothing negative that’s going to tarnish his name. He does enough of that himself.
If nothing else, this will teach companies to be a little more careful when screeners come to them to make sure only the trustworthy people actually handle the disc. It’s tough around awards season to monitor so many discs going out, but advanced screeners should be easier to keep a handle on.
What they really should do when something like this happens is just keep the media out of it altogether so that there aren’t millions of informed pirates out there getting told what’s available and what isn’t. That it’s out there is bad enough, but to make sure everyone knows about it is going to hurt them even more in the long run.