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It annoys the hell out of me when studios hire security guards to work press screenings. Small groups of journalists sitting in predominantly empty theaters are asked to surrender any cell phones capable of recording images. Then hired “guns” with infrared goggles watch us watching the film to make sure no one commits piracy. “We’re not the problem!” I want to scream at the top of my lungs. But the following story reminds me that piracy comes from within the industry more often than not.
Wes DeSoto is a member of the Screen Actors Guild. He’s about to plead guilty to leaking Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, as well as four other feature films, to BitTorrent, according to Wired. I hope the lesbian-kiss scene between Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis was worth it, dude.
DeSoto’s copies were review screeners that were loaned by studios to SAG members through the iTunes store. Following a tip obtained by the Motion Picture Association of America’s piracy officers, FBI agents stormed DeSoto’s apartment and connected him to leaked copies of awards contenders such as The Fighter, The King’s Speech, 127 Hours and Rabbit Hole. At least DeSoto had good taste in the titles he decided to spread via the Internet.
Even though studios plaster their screeners with warnings and individual copies usually are watermarked to link back to the involved party, piracy remains a serious problem and DeSoto should face serious repercussions for his crimes. Federal sentencing guidelines say the actor, who recently appeared on CSI, could face anywhere from 10 to 16 months in jail. DeSoto will appear in federal court next month for his sentencing.