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Piracy problem not worth losing an Oscar

Jack Valenti, the main lobbyist for the movie industry, is now having second thoughts about banning DVD and videotape “screeners” from being sent to voters who select the winners of Academy Awards (see “Beyond the Headlines” 10/6/03).

Sources said Valenti, the chief executive of the Motion Picture Association of America, has been under considerable pressure from art-house distributors, actors and directors who say that the ban would hurt their chances of winning Oscars. As a result, Valenti is expected to go back to the studio executives who agreed to the ban and propose a compromise.

That would include marking videotapes electronically before they are sent to Academy members. The videotapes, which could be traced easily, would be delivered by certified mail. But the compromise would not include the distribution of easily copied DVDs, and not every videotape would be marked.

Apparently piracy is one thing, but so big a problem as to interfere with the changes of winning an Oscar. Stay tuned.

For more information visit www.mpaa.org.

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