The Hateful Eight is one of Tarantino’s and Samuel L. Jackson’s best up-to-date work. A lot of people were surprise when they started seeing the movie on sites like Pirate Bay and other pirating websites with hundreds of thousands of illegal downloads . The source of the online leak of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight has been traced to an awards-season DVD screener that had been sent to a leading Hollywood studio executive.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the pirated version of The Hateful Eight available from some file-sharing sites bears a digital watermark that identifies it as a DVD sent to Andrew Kosove, co-CEO of Alcon Entertainment, a major production and finance outfit involved in films such as The 33, Transcendence and the recent remake of Point Break.
Kosove, who is co-operating fully with the FBI agents investigating the leak, denied the DVD ever reached him. “I’ve never seen this DVD,” he said. “It’s never touched my hands. We’re going to do more than co-operate with the FBI. We’re going to conduct our own investigation to find out what happened.”
According to information cited by the Reporter, the DVD was uploaded to the internet by a hacker collective called Hive-CM8, and was downloaded at least 200,000 times on its first day. CM8 say they plan to upload 40 DVD screeners in total, and have also posted pirated versions of The Revenant, Creed and Legend.
Despite increased security measures, the awards season organisers have so far failed to curtail the leaking of films that are sent to voters on DVD. In 2004, Godfather actor Carmine Caridi was ordered to pay Warner Bros $300,000 and expelled from the Academy after films leaked online were traced to DVDs he had received.
Andrew Kosove, co-CEO of production-finance company Alcon Entertainment, was sent the “screener” copy of Hateful Eight for year-end awards consideration. That copy was signed for by an office assistant and later shared online, where it is now circulating on multiple file-sharing sites. Sources say officials with the FBI, working in conjunction with distributor The Weinstein Co., have been able to pinpoint Kosove’s copy of the film as the source of the leak from a watermark on the DVD sent to him. FBI agents are visiting Alcon’s Century City headquarters Tuesday to determine the chain of custody of the DVD and who is responsible for its uploading. Alcon is cooperating fully in the investigation.
“I’ve never seen this DVD,” Kosove tells THR in an interview. “It’s never touched my hands. We’re going to do more than cooperate with the FBI. We’re going to conduct our own investigation to find out what happened.”
Indeed, it is likely that Kosove is a victim in this leak rather than the perpetrator. Another employee at Alcon could have obtained and uploaded the DVD, or someone who either was given the screener or stole it could be responsible. Regardless, between 200,000 and 600,000 downloads of the film, depending on various reports, occurred the first day it was available online. Physical copies of Hateful Eight have been seen for sale on street corners in China and other markets.