'12 Years a Slave' won Best Picture—and now everyone's pirating it

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Success has its price.

The 2014 Oscars subtly urged us, whenever possible, to keep paying wildly inflated ticket prices in order to see big-budget films in theaters—and if the latest BitTorrent stats are anything to go by, Hollywood has good reason to fear the slackening of that ever more critical revenue stream. 

By taking the biggest prizes on Sunday, 12 Years a Slave and Gravity ensured their status as hot illegal downloads for the foreseeable future: according to TorrentFreak, shares of the former tripled, while piracy of the latter more than doubled. Never let it be said that Deep Web geeks reject award culture, I guess.


While no other film secured the 100,000 extra downloads that Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave did, copies of other nominees, from American Hustle to Nebraska and Captain Phillips, have also proliferated online—likely thanks to Academy screeners.

But Google results reveal that studios have begun to crack down in earnest.


But firing off a few dozen DMCA notices, as copyright holders know, will hardly stem the rising tide of intellectual property theft. Heck, you don’t even have to download a video file; just pull up a seat and watch 12 Years a Slave on one of these tube sites. (Don’t get mad at us, Fox Searchlight—we’re not the ones hosting it.)

Luckily, the law-abiding among us can also learn about Solomon Northup’s harrowing life for free: His original 1859 memoir has been in the public domain for some time.  

H/T TorrentFreak | Photo via YouTube/FoxSearchlight

If 'Gravity' wins the Oscars’ Best Picture, it's for the wrong reasons
It seems like everyone in the known universe thinks 12 Years a Slave is going to win the Oscar for Best Picture this weekend. On Gold Derby, the most comprehensive aggregate of Oscarologist opinion on the Web, 12 Years a Slave is way out in front—with 23 Oscarexperts betting on it to win, compared to just seven for Gravity. The Steve McQueen-directed film has held onto the presumptive frontrunner slot for most of the race, after Vulture’s Kyle Buchanan declared it the prov...
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