Disney agrees to distribute encrypted award screeners for Oscars
Robert Iger, president and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company, poses with the star of "Chicken Little." (Fred Prouser / Reuters)
In the past, some films meant strictly for viewing by awards voters have been pirated months before the films were publicly available on home video.
The process offers maximum protection of films while allowing key voters to view them, said Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios.
Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts already have special DVD players to view the encrypted movies.
Cinea, a division of Dolby Laboratories, distributed 12,000 machines last year, but it was too late for the studios to produce the encrypted discs. Most studios instead distributed unencrypted DVDs or specially watermarked VHS tape copies of their films.