From Torrent Freak:

In the final days leading up to Christmas, DVD screener copies of some of the hottest movies began leaking to the Internet. Several, including The Revenant and The Hateful Eight, went on to become Golden Globe winners earlier this week.

There can be little doubt that the leaks generated significant additional publicity that otherwise the films would not have enjoyed, but still the big question remains. Will these movies eventually reap the financial benefits of word-of-mouth marketing as a result of their early (not to mention illegal) online appearances?

The battle lines in this debate were drawn early with Hive-CM8, the group behind the leaks, setting out its arguments (by way of an unusual apology) in the dying days of 2015.

“Since everyone is now talking about [The Hateful Eight] we don’t think the producers will [lose] any money [upon theatrical release]. We actually think this has created a new type of media hype that is more present in the news, radio and in the papers than Star Wars, and the promotional costs for this were free,” the group said.

Perhaps needless to say, Hollywood doesn’t share the group’s view on the promotional benefits of giving away free copies of the latest movies before their theatrical release. Last week the producer of The Hateful Eight aired his displeasure and now its the turn of the powerful Copyright Alliance.

Counting the MPAA, RIAA, ESA, BSA, NBA and Getty Images among its members, the Copyright Alliance has more heavyweight entertainment industry support…

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