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

Success has its price.

 

Miles Klee

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Published Mar 4, 2014   Updated May 31, 2021, 4:37 pm CDT

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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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H/T TorrentFreak | Photo via YouTube/FoxSearchlight

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*First Published: Mar 4, 2014, 2:06 pm CST