Cinea fades on screeners

Dolby's antipiracy tech to still send players

After making a big splash with its promise to solve Hollywood’s screener piracy woes two years ago, Cinea doesn’t look to be a player during this year’s awards season.

Last year, the antipiracy tech unit of Dolby sent out free DVD players that play specially copy-protected discs to every member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, BAFTA, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., the Screen Actors Guild nominating committee and critics’ circle members. It plans to continue that program, sending its S-View player to new members of the orgs on an ongoing basis.

The entire screener program, on which Cinea lost millions, was largely a publicity vehicle to get its name in the press and its technology in front of studios. Company considers that program a success, and as a result, it’s now focused on profit-making endeavors and isn’t actively soliciting studios to get involved.

“We’ll continue to support the players and provide them to new members, but we think it has already served its core purpose of being a showcase for us,” said Cinea VP Larry Roth. “Our message to studios now is, ‘If you want to use it, we’re here for you.’ ”

After failing to get its players to Academy members in time for screener season in late 2004, Cinea had mixed success last year getting studios to protect their discs using its technology so they would work only on the S-View players and couldn’t be pirated. Disney was the only one to do so in the U.S., while New Line, Universal and several indies used Cinea for BAFTA members in the U.K.

Roth said he’s fairly confident that some studios will use S-View again for BAFTA screeners, since last year’s winner, “Brokeback Mountain,” was encrypted by Cinea, showing that BAFTA voters are comfortable with the technology.

Domestically, however, prospects are more doubtful. Generally, for the studios, screener piracy seems a relatively minor concern compared with bootleg DVDs overseas and the opportunities to make money online through digital distribution.

Since starting the screener program, Cinea has signed up several studios to use its technology for other projects. The Mouse House now uses S-View for certain internal copies of films, while Sony and MGM utilized it for some dailies during production of “Casino Royale.”

Cinea also is investing heavily in watermarking technology that could be used for digital downloads.

More Biz

  • Ryan Wiik photographed at his home

    Norwegian Cowboy Actor Settles Lawsuit Against Ex-Lover

    After making a big splash with its promise to solve Hollywood’s screener piracy woes two years ago, Cinea doesn’t look to be a player during this year’s awards season. Last year, the antipiracy tech unit of Dolby sent out free DVD players that play specially copy-protected discs to every member of the Academy of Motion […]

  • Obit Obituary Placeholder

    Entertainment Attorney Arnold Burk Dies at 85

    After making a big splash with its promise to solve Hollywood’s screener piracy woes two years ago, Cinea doesn’t look to be a player during this year’s awards season. Last year, the antipiracy tech unit of Dolby sent out free DVD players that play specially copy-protected discs to every member of the Academy of Motion […]

  • WME

    Marcus Levy, Amy Lynch and Andrew Russell Join WME's Comedy Touring Department

    After making a big splash with its promise to solve Hollywood’s screener piracy woes two years ago, Cinea doesn’t look to be a player during this year’s awards season. Last year, the antipiracy tech unit of Dolby sent out free DVD players that play specially copy-protected discs to every member of the Academy of Motion […]

  • Meet those who spoke out on

    Meet Some of the People Who Came Out Against Weinstein, Ratner and More

    After making a big splash with its promise to solve Hollywood’s screener piracy woes two years ago, Cinea doesn’t look to be a player during this year’s awards season. Last year, the antipiracy tech unit of Dolby sent out free DVD players that play specially copy-protected discs to every member of the Academy of Motion […]

  • Misogyny in Hollywood Makes Talented Women

    For Some Women, Hollywood's Culture of Inequality Is Too Much to Bear

    After making a big splash with its promise to solve Hollywood’s screener piracy woes two years ago, Cinea doesn’t look to be a player during this year’s awards season. Last year, the antipiracy tech unit of Dolby sent out free DVD players that play specially copy-protected discs to every member of the Academy of Motion […]

  • Hollywood Sexual Harassment Handcuffs

    Naming Names Isn't Enough -- Sexual Harassers Should Have to Face the Law (Column)

    After making a big splash with its promise to solve Hollywood’s screener piracy woes two years ago, Cinea doesn’t look to be a player during this year’s awards season. Last year, the antipiracy tech unit of Dolby sent out free DVD players that play specially copy-protected discs to every member of the Academy of Motion […]

  • Men in Power Sexual Harassment Mad

    Powerful Men Can't Plead Ignorance in the Wake of Misbehavior Revelations (Column)

    After making a big splash with its promise to solve Hollywood’s screener piracy woes two years ago, Cinea doesn’t look to be a player during this year’s awards season. Last year, the antipiracy tech unit of Dolby sent out free DVD players that play specially copy-protected discs to every member of the Academy of Motion […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content