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You probably know The Hurt Locker best as the movie that upset Avatar and won Oscar’s Best Picture last year, unless of course you use bit torrents. Bit torrents are the most popular way used by pirates to illegally distribute copyrighted material and, since its release The Hurt Locker has become something of a poster child for just about everything that’s gone wrong between Hollywood and the internet.
A copy of the film was leaked online before its release and ended up being one of the most pirated films of the year. The producers behind the movie have been outspoken about their opposition to piracy, even launching a massive lawsuit against not the people pirating the film, but people who use BitTorrent. Apparently it hasn’t helped, because now not only is a pirated version of The Hurt Locker available on the internet, its being broadcast straight into people’s television sets.
Torrent Freak reports that in the tiny nation of Belarus, television viewers were treated to a showing of The Hurt Locker last Sunday, as part of their TV network’s Oscar celebration. Except it seems that what they watched was an illegal, pirated version of the movie. During the broadcast a voice chimed in and announced, “This release is created exclusively for interfilm.ru”. Interfilm.ru is a notorious movie pirating outfit, currently in the midst of a copyright infringement claim from the MPAA.
Since this was first reported Belarus State Television has released a statement claiming that the proper licenses for the film were acquired, and they blame the incident on a “technical error”. That explanation doesn’t ring true. Whether or not they got licenses to show The Hurt Locker, it seems clear that the actual copy of the film broadcast definitely wasn’t obtained through official channels.