Studios Tussle with Piracy

Premature 'Ratatouille' galvanizes film brass; execs try to wrap up illegal distributors
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2007 8:19 AM CDT
Studios Tussle with Piracy
This image, provided by Disney and Pixar Animation, shows a scene from "Ratatouille," the story of a rat that loves to cook and gets his chance by teaming with the klutzy human garbage boy in the kitchen of a fancy French restaurant. Its the latest effort from Brad Bird, the filmmaker behind the Academy...   (Associated Press)

Hollywood is scrambling to crack down after a recent spate of online movie piracy: Disney's "Ratatouille" and Michael Moore's "Sicko" have each surfaced on the net before theatrical release. Studios have been ramping up pre-release screenings to build buzz, which the Journal says makes it easier for camcorder-wielding pirates to bootleg films.

But the studios are fighting back. In a noir turn, Weinstein Co. has hired PIs to track down the sicko who pirated Moore's film. And many execs are turning to online security companies to flood the net with fake copies of new movies, a move the music industry premiered during the Napster days. (Read more piracy stories.)

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