Acad members go to pieces over screeners

Academy voters be warned: Don’t just toss those screeners into the trash until you’ve destroyed them.

That’s the advice from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences to members wondering how to get rid of the five dozen or so screeners they’ve received during the kudos season.

The question arose because AMPAS members signed agreements not to allow screeners “to be reproduced in any fashion and not to sell them or to give them away at any time.”

Significant numbers of members began calling AMPAS for guidance following its Feb. 3 expulsion of Carmine Caridi. The 70-year-old actor admitted to having forwarded his screening cassettes to Illinois resident Russell Sprague.

But the Acad’s agreement offered no specifics on how to get rid of the screeners if members didn’t want to keep them forever but wanted to avoid trouble with the Academy should any of the encoded and traceable screeners find their way into the wrong hands.

“We’re telling members to cut up the discs and pull out the tape from the cassette if they want to throw them out,” AMPAS spokesman John Pavlik says.

Caridi’s expulsion marked the Acad’s first over the screener security issue; Acad voters had never before been asked to sign such an agreement.

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