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Pirate Apology: HIVE-CM8 Leak “Hateful Eight” Then Apologize

Pirates Apologize to Tarantino for Spoiler Leak of Hateful Eight — Sort Of

Quentin Tarantino‘s film, The Hateful Eight was leaked by some online pirates just days before its much-anticipated release in cinemas. That unapproved and unlawful pre-release became a large scandal. Now the group that leaked the movie has made an unprecedented (and unusual)  apology / justification.

After first going into hiding, Hive-CM8 has taken responsibility for the leak and now says “We feel sorry for the trouble we caused by releasing that great movie before [offical screening] had even begun. We never intended to hurt anyone by doing that. We didn’t know it would get that popular that quickly.”

However, Hive goes on to claim that the leak has resulted in free “media hype” and that news of the leak created publicity that actually helped ticket sales of the movie in theaters and also will help the movie long-term. Adding addition question to their sincerity is the fact that the apology accompanied Hive’s pirated release of the Christian Bale movie The Big Short, (which had already opened on December 23rd).

It is not uncommon to see movies getting leaked on torrent sites before actually reaching the theaters. But this is the first time a pirate group has chosen to make an apology to a director.

Hive and other sites like them, regularly release copies of awards “screeners” to the public. Screeners are advance DVDs sent to critics, awards voters, and other film industry professionals, including producers and distributors. It is not difficult for one of those many DVDs to find its way into the wrong hands.

Hive attempted to dispel rumors that the leaked screener copies had been sourced by illegal computer hacking. “We got the copies sold from a guy on the street, no decryption was needed. We were definitely not the only ones [to have obtained copies]. A couple of other movies had been on the net days before, not done by us,” they say.

While the group has certainly released content in the past for notoriety, this time Hive says it wants to help those too poor to get the movie through legitimate channels. “So we wanted to share movies with the people who are not rich enough or not able to watch all nominated movies in the cinema. Of course [these files] are not representing the movies how they can be enjoyed in the cinema.”

After thanking Quentin Tarantino for a “wonderful movie,” Hive wrote that The Hateful Eight should be a top awards candidate and will “win by a mile” over its rivals. And, significantly, Hive did announce that the Tarantino scandal prompted a change in their policy: “…its pre-release will mark the last time that Hive leaks content before it appears in cinemas. We won’t do another movie before its [theatrical release].” Here’s hoping that the word of a pirate can be trusted. 

Click here to read The Film Box’s review of The Hateful Eight.

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When she is not writing about film and art on her blog, HelenHighly.com, Helen Kaplow is busy being a culture vulture in her adopted home of New York City.