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Arts and Entertainment

'The Hateful Eight' Leak Traced Back To Hollywood CEO

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One of the most anticipated Hollywood movies coming out on Christmas has already leaked, and the leak is coming from within Hollywood's own house.Earlier this week, both Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight and the bear-rapey The Revenant found their ways online. One piracy group named "Hive-CM8" is taking credit for the leaks, claiming the aforementioned titles are only two of a total of 40 they will leak, according to TorrentFreak, a news site covering online piracy and filesharing. "Will do them all one after each other, started with the hottest title of this year, the rest will follow," writes Hive-CM8.

The source of the Hateful Eight leak, it turns out, came from a bigwig in the industry itself. According to a report in The Hollywood Reporter, the watermark on the screener copy of the film was traced back to Andrew Kosove, co-CEO of film production company Alcon Entertainment. (Alcon has one of their own productions also opening on Christmas—the Point Break remake.)

An assistant at Kosove's office signed for the DVD, but what happened after that is now the subject of a federal investigation.

"I've never seen this DVD," Kosove told THR. "It's never touched my hands. We're going to do more than cooperate with the FBI. We're going to conduct our own investigation to find out what happened."

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The Hateful Eight screener is not the first leak to be tied to a high-profile person in the entertainment industry. Last year, a leak of The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty was traced back to a copy that was for Ellen DeGeneres. As is likely the case in the Tarantino film, the culprit was determined to be a lower-level employee.

DVD screeners and their subsequent leaks are quite common late in the year, when copies are sent out by the thousands to critics and awards voters.

Both The Revenant and The Hateful Eight open on Christmas in limited release—the latter of which opens on 70mm in a "roadshow" in select theaters across the country. Whether these leaks will be detrimental to either film's box office numbers will be hard to quantify. But the experience of seeing a film on 70mm is something no screener copy can replicate.