Pirated movie release types


Pirated movie release types

With regard to warez groups or organized piracy groups, a movie is usually released in several formats and different versions because the primary sources used by a group for a particular movie may vary. Pirated movies are primarily released by these organized groups, commonly referred to as scene groups or warez groups. The first release of a movie is usually of a lower quality (due to a lack of sources), and is eventually replaced with higher-quality releases as better sources become available.

Contents

Background

Cam releases were the early attempts at movie piracy which are implemented by taping the on-screen projection of a movie in a cinema. This enabled groups to pirate movies which were in their theatrical period (not released for personal entertainment). But because these releases often suffered distinctly low quality and it is hard to do because people may notice, alternative methods were sought.

A prime example was the release of American Pie.[1] This is notable for three reasons:

  1. It was released in an uncensored workprint format. The later theatrical release was cut down by several minutes and had scenes reworked to avoid nudity to pass MPAA guidelines.
  2. It was released nearly two months prior to its release in theaters (CNN Headline News reported on its early release).[citation needed]
  3. It was listed by the movie company as one of the reasons it released an Unrated DVD edition.[citation needed]

In October 1999, DeCSS was released. This program allowed anyone to remove the CSS encryption on a DVD. Although its authors only intended the software be used for playback purposes, it also meant that one could decode the content perfectly for ripping; combined with the DivX 3.11 Alpha codec released shortly after, the new codec increased video quality from near VHS to almost DVD quality when encoding from a DVD source.

The early DivX releases were mostly internal for group use, but once the codec spread, it became accepted as a standard and quickly became the most widely used format for the scene. With help from associates who either worked for a movie theater, movie production company, or video rental company, groups were supplied with massive amounts of material, and new releases began appearing at a very fast pace. When a new release of DivX came out (Version 4.0), the codec went commercial and the need for a free codec, Xvid was created. Today, Xvid has replaced DivX almost entirely. Although the DivX codec has evolved from version 4 to 7.0 during this time, it is banned[2] in the warez scene due to the commercial nature of the codec.

Release formats

Below is a table of pirated movie release types along with respective sources, ranging from the lowest quality to the highest. Scene rules define in which format and way each release type is to be packaged and distributed.[3]

Type Label Rarity
Cam[4] CAMRip
CAM
Common; Quality issues make this an unpopular format
A copy made in a cinema using a camcorder, possibly mounted on a tripod. The sound source is the camera microphone. Cam rips can quickly appear online after the first preview or premiere of the film. The quality ranges from terrible to very good, depending on the group of persons performing the recording and the resolution of the camera used. The main disadvantage of this is the sound quality. The microphone does not only record the sound from the movie, but also the background sound in the cinema. The camera can also record movements and audio of the audience in the theater, for instance, when someone stands up in front of the screen, or when the audience laughs at a funny moment in the movie.
Telesync[4] TS
TELESYNC
PDVD
Very common
Contrary to popular belief, the video quality of a TS is not necessarily better than a cam. The term Telesync does not indicate better video quality but better audio quality. The CAM source is then synchronized with a secondary audio recording, either done with a professional microphone in an empty cinema (even though by Scene Rules this would be nuked since the audio is not direct, they are hard to tell the difference), fed directly from the cinema's sound system, or captured from an FM radio transmission intended for hearing-impaired customers. Often, a cam is mislabeled as a telesync.

PDVD, also known as Pre-DVD, is a release type found mostly in India and/or for Indian movies, with Hollywood movies being the majority. Low quality CAM/TS releases in India put on a DVD and sold on the streets, which are ripped by some release groups and released as PDVD-rips. They are often mistaken for being DVD-rips, due to the name.

Workprint[4] WP[5]
WORKPRINT
Very rare
A copy made from an unfinished version of a film produced by the studio. Typically a workprint has missing effects and overlays, and often differ from its theatrical release. Some workprints have a time index marker running in a corner or on the top edge; some may also include a watermark. A workprint might be an uncut version, and missing some material that would appear in the final movie.
Telecine[4] TC
TELECINE
Fairly rare; losing popularity due to R5 releases
A copy captured from a film print using a machine that transfers the movie from its analog reel to digital format. These were rare because telecine machines for making these prints were very costly and very large. However, recently they have become much more common. Telecine has basically the same quality as DVD, since the technique is same as digitizing the actual film to DVD. However, the result is inferior since the source material is usually a lower quality copy reel. Telecine machines usually cause a slight left-right jitter in the picture and have inferior color levels compared to DVD.
Pay-Per-View Rip[6] PPV
PPVRip
Common
PPVRips come from Pay-Per-View sources, all the PPVRip releases are brand new movies which have not yet been released to Screener or DVD but are available for viewing by Hotel customers.
Screener[4] SCR
SCREENER
DVDSCR
DVDSCREENER
BDSCR
Very Common
These are early DVD or BD releases of the theatrical version of a film, typically sent to movie reviewers, Academy members, and executives for review purposes. A screener normally has a message overlaid on its picture, with wording similar to: "The film you are watching is a promotional copy, if you purchased this film at a retail store please contact 1-800-NO-COPIES to report it." Apart from this, some movie studios release their screeners with a number of scenes of varying duration shown in black-and-white. Aside from this message, and the occasional B&W scenes, screeners are normally of only slightly lower quality than a retail DVD-Rip, due to the smaller investment in DVD mastering for the limited run. Some screener rips with the overlay message get cropped to remove the message and get released mislabled as DVD-Rips.

Note: Screeners make a small exception here, since the content may differ from a retail version, it can be considered as lower quality than a DVD-Rip (even if the screener in question was sourced from a DVD).

Digital Distribution Copy DDC
Extremely Rare
DDC is basically the same as a Screener, but sent digitally (email/ftp/http/etc.) to companies instead of via the postal system. This makes distribution cheaper. Its quality is lower than one of a R5 but higher than a Cam or a Telesync.
R5[7] R5
R5LINE
Very common
The R5 is a retail DVD from region 5. Region 5 consists of the Indian subcontinent, Africa, North Korea, Russia and Mongolia. R5 releases differ from normal releases in that they are a direct Telecine transfer of the film without any of the image processing. If the DVD does not contain an English-language audio track, the R5 video is synced to a previously released English audio track. Then a LiNE tag is added.[8] This means that the sound often is not as good as DVD-Rips.
DVD-Rip DVDRip Very common
A final retail version of a film, typically released before it is available outside its originating region. Often after one group of pirates releases a high-quality DVD-Rip, the "race" to release that film will stop. Because of their high quality, DVD-Rips generally replace any earlier copies that may already have been circulating. Widescreen DVDs are indicated as WS.DVDRip.
DVD-R DVDR,[9] DVD-Full, Full-Rip, ISO rip, lossless rip, untouched rip, DVD-5/DVD-9 Very common
A final retail version of a film in DVD format, generally a complete copy from the original DVD. If the original DVD is released in the DVD-9 format, however, extras might be removed and/or the video re-encoded to make the image fit the less expensive for burning and quicker to download DVD-5 format. DVD-R releases often accompany DVD-Rips. DVD-R rips are larger in size, generally filling up the 4.37 or 7.95 GiB provided by DVD-5 and DVD-9 respectively. Untouched or lossless rips in the strictest sense are 1:1 rips of the source, with nothing removed or changed, though often the definition is lightened to include DVDs which have not been transcoded, and no features were removed from the user's perspective, removing only restrictions and possible nuisances such as copyright warnings and movie previews.
HDTV or DS Rip[10] TVRip
DSR
PDTV
HDTV
DVBRip
DTHRip
Very common
TVRip is a capture source from an analog capture card (coaxial/composite/s-video connection)
Digital satellite rip (DSR) is a rip that is captured from a non standard definition digital source like satellite.
HDTV or PDTV or DTH (Direct To Home) rips often come from Over-the-Air transmissions. With an HDTV source, the quality can sometimes even surpass DVD. Movies in this format are starting to grow in popularity.
Analog, DSR, and PDTV sources are often re-encoded to 512×384 if fullscreen, 640×352 if widescreen. HDTV sources are re-encoded to multiple resolutions such as 640×352 (360p), 960×528 (540p), 1280×720 (720p) at various file sizes for pirated releases. They can be progressive scan captured or not (480i digital transmission).
VODRip[11] VODRip
VODR
Common, becoming more common
VODRip stands for Video-On-Demand Rip. This can be done by recording or capturing a video/movie from an On-Demand service such as through a cable or satellite TV service. Most services will state that ripping or capturing films is a breach of their use policy but it is becoming more and more popular as it requires little technology or setup. As there are many online On-Demand services that would not require one to connect their TV and computer. It can be done by using software to identify the video source address and downloading it as a video file which is often the method that bears the best quality end result. However, some people have used screen cams which effectively record, like a video camera, what is on a certain part of the computer screen but does so internally, making the quality not of HD quality but nevertheless significantly better than a CAM or TELE-SYNC version filmed from a cinema, TV or computer screen.
BD/BR Rip BDRip
BRRip
Blu-Ray / BluRay / BLURAY
BDR[12]
BD5/BD9
Common
Similar to DVD-Rip, only the source is a Blu-ray Disc. A BD/BR Rip in DVD-Rip size often looks better than a same-size DVD rip because encoders have better source material. What is commonly misunderstood among downloaders is that a BDRip and a BRRip is NOT the same thing. A BDRip comes directly from the Blu-ray source, and BRRip is encoded from a pre-release, usually from a 1080p BDRip from another group. BD Rips are available in DVD-Rip sized releases (commonly 700MB and 1.4GB) encoded in XviD as well as larger DVD5 or DVD9 (often 4.5gb or larger, depending on length and quality) sized releases encoded in x264. BD5 or BD9 are also available, which are slightly smaller than their counterpart DVD5/DVD9 releases, are AVCHD compatible using the BD Folder structure and are intended to be burnt onto DVDs to play in AVCHD compatible Blu-ray players. More recent types, probably associated with the use of newsgroups and cheaper storage at home, are complete Blu-ray copies(images). Commonly referred to as BD25 or BD50 and may or may not be re-mixed (but not transcoded).

They come in various versions: the m-720p (or mini 720p) is a compressed version of a 720p, it usually weights around 2-3 GB; the 720p, which usually weights around 4-7 GB and its the most downloaded form of BDRip; the m-1080p (or mini 1080p) that usually weights a little bit more than the 720p's and the 1080p, that can weight from 8GB to sizes as big as 40-60 GB.

See also

References


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