Sunday, August 07, 2011

DVD screener with 'H. Stern' watermark turns up on P2P sites

DVD screeners often end up online. Often, they carry screener watermarks, but usually they don't carry watermarks that seem to ID the source of the upload. Howard Stern might have some explaining to do come Monday.

[A DVD screener (SCR) is an advance screening of a film sent to critics, awards voters, video stores, and more. It generally has watermarks to reduce the chance of piracy, but are generally of high quality.]

Trend Micro Home & Home OfficeWhile shaky cam versions of J.J. Abrams' Super 8 showed up soon after the film premiered, its the DVD screener version that is now popping up on BitTorrent sites that will likely cause consternation at Paramount. The video clearly shows the text "H. Stern" in the upper right hand corner of the screen.

It been confirmed that Howard Stern did receive a copy prior to his interview of Abrams when Abrams was promoting the film. It's not uncommon for Stern to receive a DVD screener; he wants to be "knowledgeable" when conducting an interview.

That said, there are a couple of possibilities: someone could have hacked a video ripped from a screener to make it appear as though it was Stern's. Alternatively, and more likely, Stern could have handed the screener to friends or crew and one of them could have uploaded it.

In fact, we have serious doubts that Stern had anything to do with it, aside from perhaps passing the screener on. We'd also expect he's going to conduct his own "investigation" of the matter, and the sh*t will hit the fan.

As far as if this means that there is less chance that studios will givef him screeners in the future, that remains to be seen.

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