Torrents leak : Hive-CM8 to leak 40 top Hollywood movie screener versions in coming days

A movie piracy release group, which calls itself Hive-CM8, has illegally stolen not less than 40 of Hollywood’s biggest films to be released this summer and is promising to release them online over the next few weeks.

The group claims to have obtained high quality versions of films such as Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, The Revenant starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Will Smith’s NFL-based drama Concussion.

Several of the highest-profile films of the year, including recent releases like Creed, Joy, and Steve Jobs, In the Heart of the Sea, The Danish Girl, and Bridge of Spies are among the films already available to download on various piracy sites.

The leaks began on December 20th with a note saying The Hateful Eight was just one of 40 screeners that the so-called CM8 “scene group” would be releasing. “Will do them all one after another, 9th hot title,” reads the documentation accompanying the most recently leaked film, Spotlight, according to Motherboard. All but The Revenant have been leaked under the name “Hive-CM8.”

The films are all high-quality DVD screeners, which are copies sent to people like journalists, award judges, and other industry professionals for evaluation purposes.

Some members of the public have delighted in the torrent of free entertainment, prasing the group for boosting their holiday plans. But of course the hack has drawn criticism from frustrated industry insiders.

The leaked version of The Hateful Eight has been traced back to a top Hollywood executive, co-CEO of Alcon Entertainment, Andrew Kosove. according to The Hollywood Reporter. Kosove says he never saw the DVD, whose delivery was accepted by an office assistant. The screener was sent to Kosove for awards consideration and identified by invisible watermarks embedded in the playback.

The FBI, working in conjunction with major Hollywood studio The Weinstein Co., were able to pinpoint his copy of the film as the source of the leak from a watermark on the DVD sent to him. However he has denied ever receiving the film. He said that the DVD was accepted by an office assistant.

“I’ve never seen this DVD… It’s never touched my hands. We’re going to do more than co-operate with the FBI. We’re going to conduct our own investigation to find out what happened,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. The origins of the other leaks are unknown at this time.

According to reports in TorrentFreak, “The Hateful Eight” was downloaded over 300,000 times after the first day of the leak, which combined with the other movies released by CM8, almost guarantee that Hollywood will pursue legal repercussions.

Last year, The Expendables 3 was leaked online nearly a month before its official release. The movie was downloaded by more than 10 million people causing it to lose a claimed $250 million in revenue.

The Hive-CM8 group, whose slogan appears to be “doing it right the first time,” has been around for at least five years and in the past has been responsible for leaking films such as The Hobbit, 12 Years a Slave, The Social Network and Interstellar.

It is not uncommon for a string of high profile movies to be leaked in the lead up to awards season but the claimed size and coordination of the latest hack is exceptional.

Discussing the leaks, one of the reddit user noted on a thread: “Screener season is officially in full swing.”