‘American Sniper’ most pirated Oscar film

‘American Sniper’ most pirated Oscar film
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Movie buffs will have to wait until Sunday to see if “American Sniper” takes home the Academy Award for Best Picture, but it’s already winning the race for most pirated film.

The Bradley Cooper movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, was illegally downloaded nearly 1.4 million times in the 30 days after it was nominated for the best picture Oscar last month, more than any other movie in the world.

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While the Oscars tend to be a boon for Hollywood studios every year, they also lead to a rapid uptick in the trading of pirated movies.

In all, the eight movies nominated for Best Picture were illegally downloaded a combined 6.5 million times since the Jan. 15 nomination, according to Irdeto, a company that tracks online piracy. 

That represented a 385 percent increase in global piracy of the nominated movies.

The company saw a piracy spike in almost every country following the January nominations, though Russia and the U.S. led the pack, followed by Italy, the United Kingdom and Brazil.

“American Sniper,” which tells the true story of the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the deadliest sniper in American history, became the center of a political stir after its release earlier this year. Liberal critics such as filmmaker Michael Moore accused it of glamorizing American soldiers who fought in Iraq, which prompted Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and others to rise to its defense. 

The movie has been a major hit at the box office and has topped audience polls for which movie they’d like to see take home the Oscar on Sunday.  

“Selma” was the least pirated of all the best picture nominees, according to Irdeto, being downloaded just fewer than 145,000 times.

The company uses automated “crawler” software to monitor how movies were being downloaded on the BitTorrent file-sharing network.