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Acad sez Cinea off scene

DVD players will be shipped by the end of the month

In the latest twist in the Cinea screener issue, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences sent out a letter to its members Tuesday tacitly acknowledging the failure of Cinea to provide an acceptable solution for the studios in time for this awards season.

In the letter, Academy president Frank Pierson states that Cinea’s DVD players will be shipped by the end of the month, but that no studio or distributor will be sending DVDs or VHS tapes encrypted with that technology.

WB and New Line became the first studios to give an official thumbs down to Cinea earlier this month, saying they had decided not to use Cinea’s format because they had not had sufficient time to test their players.

The letter, however, reiterates that watermarked VHS screeners and DVDs are being sent to members by the individual studios which possess “unique and traceable coding” to the individual voter.

“As we learned last year with just a single lamentable exception, the Academy is not contributing to the piracy problem,” the letter said.

However, as last year, the Academy again stressed the need for voters to be vigilant.

“The same spirit of responsibility will be in evidence again this year,” the letter said, reminding voters that the screeners should be kept in their control and not lent out or given away.

“For next year, the groundwork has been laid for a clearer more unified less worrisome approach to awards screeners. We look forward to the end of what has become a marathon problem.”

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