FBI makes arrest in Oscar screener piracy: Kind of a sad story here. A “friend” of an elderly Academy member convinced him to send him the screeners he got every year. The videos were promptly pirated.
Carmine Caridi admitted in an affidavit released Thursday that he sent every so-called “screener” videotape he’s received for the past three years to an acquaintance in the Chicago area, Russell W. Sprague.
Sprague, 51, was arrested at his home in Homewood, Ill., on Thursday after a search of his home turned up hundreds of films, many of which had been converted to DVD format and had the Academy’s encryption code erased, along with an array of duplicating equipment, authorities said.
One thing we learned is that the Academy’s tracing technology works. They tracked this all back to the source via a digital watermark on the movies which indicated who they had been sent to.