Movie Hackers


The L.A. Times explores the world of online movie piracy:

Nearly halfway around the world from Hollywood, a 17-year-old high-school student is trying to make a name for himself as a film distributor.

Unlike the moguls in Tinseltown, though, he and his colleagues in a group called MysticVCD don't cut deals, take meetings or campaign for Oscars. Instead, their goal is to put a movie on the Internet first, long before it's officially released on tape or disc. If MysticVCD wins the race, the digital copy it produces will be downloaded onto tens of thousands of computers around the globe, potentially reaching more screens than the film itself did in theatrical release….

"I am in the scene in order to provide movies to the people" and to gain access to private sites with pirated goods, the founder of MysticVCD said via e-mail. Asking not to be named, he would say only that he lives in the Greenwich mean time zone, which stretches from the British Isles south to western Africa.