Hacker group Hive-CM8 has obtained DVD screeners of some of this year’s awards contenders and have leaked the films online to torrent websites and more.
The first leak from the group occurred on Christmas Eve when Richard Linklater’s “Last Flag Flying” appeared online, accompanied by a note that read: “Merry Christmas and stay tuned.” A few hours later, the likes of “Call Me by Your Name,” “Lady Bird,” and “I, Tonya” leaked online.
Ironically, Hive-CM8 wrote the following message when leaking the movies: “Don’t forget watching a screener is not like the real thing, you should still all go to the cinema and support the Producers,”
“We are especially sharing this for the people who can’t visit the cinema due to illness, or because it is a limited release that doesn’t make it to their country,” the note read. “So those people also can experience some award nominated movies. Enjoy.”
Hive-CM8 made headlines previously when it leaked Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” online, which The Weinstein Company said had a negative impact on the film’s box office. The group apologized for distributing a pirated copy of the movie before the film was released, saying they “never intended to hurt anyone” by leaking the film.
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The FBI investigated the matter and traced the stolen screener to Alcon Entertainment co-CEO Andrew Kosove, who had no idea how the DVD ended up in the hands of movie pirates. There’s no word yet on how Hive-CM8 gained access to screeners of “Lady Bird” and more.