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Pirating the 2009 Oscars.
January 22, 2009 6:42 PM   Subscribe

Pirating the 2009 Oscars

Metafilter's own waxpancake gives us an exhaustive analysis of the current crop of Oscar nominees, and how many of their releases are available via Bittorrent. With spreadsheets!
posted by the dief (75 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Where's Punisher: War Zone though? WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE DECAPITATIONS?
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:55 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Fascinating.
The graph showing median days between U.S. release and first leak corresponds directly when compared with a graph showing my own suicidal urges during every oscar acceptance speech I've ever endured.
posted by mannequito at 7:06 PM on January 22, 2009


The good news is, people are actually calling out the currently circulating Changeling screener as a fake. It's actually a the telecine version, re-uploaded. Some dispute it, but I know a telecine when I see one. The nerve of these people.
posted by Clay201 at 7:28 PM on January 22, 2009


aXXo
posted by P.o.B. at 7:50 PM on January 22, 2009


The graph for number of smug copyfighter speeches on MeFi about how being a freeloader is actually a good and moral thing is going to go through the roof this week.
posted by Artw at 7:52 PM on January 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


Speaking time between release and first leak, I download both Defiance and Grand Torinio about a full week before they even came out in the theaters. Ah, the beauty of leaked screeners.
posted by Sargas at 8:05 PM on January 22, 2009


Artw, I just pirated your car.
posted by nola at 8:05 PM on January 22, 2009


Artw, I just pirated your pirates.
posted by jessamyn at 8:11 PM on January 22, 2009


For your consideration.
posted by tellurian at 8:12 PM on January 22, 2009


Artw, I just pirated your pirates.

Holy crap, were is my boat!?
posted by nola at 8:13 PM on January 22, 2009


Yo dog, I heard you liked pirates, so I put a pirate on your pirate ship so you can pirate while you pirate.
posted by exogenous at 8:31 PM on January 22, 2009 [11 favorites]


Fact of the day: The Pirate Bay has more high-def content on offer than Netflix.

/bitter
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:36 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


In that Michael Jackson at home TV special, where he had cancer kids in his private theatre, there were two giant Oscar statures on either side of the screen. The Academy recognized them as props that were stolen off a loading dock, and they were returned to appear in future televised award shows.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:37 PM on January 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


God damnit man, I got no boat left. I just told ya! I pirate no more, I've joined the crew invisible. I am an X pirate.


I've been watching to much Monty Python lately
posted by nola at 8:41 PM on January 22, 2009


Artw, I just did pilates.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:46 PM on January 22, 2009


ArtW, freeloading isn't really moral or good I agree, but I still do it anyway. Why you ask, well probably because I'm not that good or moral(what are these morals you speak of), so please join me in say "screw you" to those deluded assholes who think is on the road to sainthood.
posted by Sargas at 8:47 PM on January 22, 2009



Artw, I just pirated your pilates.
posted by P.o.B. at 8:58 PM on January 22, 2009


Two gummy bears of the translucent yellow variety and vaguely resembling Oscar statues were seized from me by "a member of the Academy". They have yet to appear in any televised award shows.
posted by furtive at 9:00 PM on January 22, 2009


Apple has put together a special Oscars page with links to trailers (and some soundtracks) for all the nominated films. Many of the trailers are viewable in HD.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 9:08 PM on January 22, 2009


It was the day after I got me hook.
posted by isopraxis at 9:08 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Artw, I pilfered some pie.
posted by not_on_display at 9:24 PM on January 22, 2009


So, who has to swab the deck?

Also, how does one keep up crew morale during a bout of scurvy?
posted by thivaia at 9:27 PM on January 22, 2009


I thought a pirated movie is one that's awarded around 3.141 stars in a review.
posted by bunglin jones at 9:43 PM on January 22, 2009 [28 favorites]


Also, waxy's yearly analysis of this is one of the best things on the internet. Thanks for the link, dief.
posted by jessamyn at 9:46 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Aw, you guys are sweet. Thanks.
posted by waxpancake at 9:54 PM on January 22, 2009


Hi there Internet...

I make digital entertainment. I'd appreciate it if you played by the rules. Copyright infringement is against the law. Don't like the law? Change it. Call your local representative. Fly to DC and have a talk with your Senator, or donate to someone who will do that for you. But, in the meantime, please stop taking our stuff without our permission. Rules matter.

Some people make digital entertainment for free or nearly free. Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog was quite nifty, you know? Tons of indie music. Free games. Free sites, like this one! Give them your time and eyeballs. Clearly, they want it more than we do. We want to charge money for our work.

But for those of us who can't or won't, please stop breaking the rules. When you break the rules, it just gives other people -- like some content creators -- moral high ground to also break the rules. And when they do that, it makes people like me look bad.

Even if I'm playing by the rules.

- Andrea
posted by andreaazure at 9:55 PM on January 22, 2009 [3 favorites]




Also, how does one keep up crew morale during a bout of scurvy?


Orange flavored popcorn?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:17 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Small edit: "....who can't or won't give the work away for free, ..."
posted by andreaazure at 10:18 PM on January 22, 2009


When you break the rules, it just gives other people -- like some content creators -- moral high ground to also break the rules.

No it doesn't, by this logic the Sony root kit fiasco gives me license to bit torrent all the music I want.
posted by Keith Talent at 10:18 PM on January 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


You mean there might be an Oscar nominee that is not available on bit torrent? That one won't win anything I am sure.
posted by caddis at 10:20 PM on January 22, 2009


A pirate without a pirate ship is nothing more than a creative homeless guy.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 10:37 PM on January 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Look.

If I didn't use bittorrent, I'd never understand half of the pop references I see on MetaFilter.
posted by merelyglib at 10:39 PM on January 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese: "Apple has put together a special Oscars page with links to trailers (and some soundtracks) for all the nominated films. Many of the trailers are viewable in HD."

I'd like to take this as an opportunity to point out the staggering gap in quality between the domestic trailer for Slumdog Millionaire and the international one. It's like the international team blew their entire production budget on that floating 3D review snippet at the end and threw the rest together in 20 minutes with Windows Movie Maker and a CD of America's Favorite Shitty 80's Jamz.

Also, does anybody else think that the use of "Hoppipolla" is an omen of cinematic greatness? Let's look at the track record: Planet Earth, Children of Men, and now Slumdog Millionaire. Also this cool short film. And it also helps end poverty. It's like a musical blessing!
posted by Rhaomi at 10:43 PM on January 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Artw, I'm seeding Pirates of the Carribean right now.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:46 PM on January 22, 2009


Also? I actually downloaded and installed iTunes so I could pay real money for Dr. Horrible.

I liked it just. that. much.

The download was bad. It skipped. I know dick about iTunes, so I went to mininova. Got a copy in less than half the time it took to download legally, and no skips.

I'm sure there was a way to re-download, it just wasn't obvious enough for me. and it was too goddam slow.
posted by merelyglib at 10:57 PM on January 22, 2009


Also, does anybody else think that the use of "Hoppipolla" is an omen of cinematic greatness? Let's look at the track record: Planet Earth, Children of Men, and now Slumdog Millionaire. Also this cool short film. And it also helps end poverty. It's like a musical blessing!

Don't forget The Life Aquatic - the movie that started it all.
posted by cerulgalactus at 1:02 AM on January 23, 2009


Andrea:

Don't ever sign your posts again. Please.

-The Internet
posted by mek at 3:41 AM on January 23, 2009 [10 favorites]


Go to Best Buy. They sell new DVD's for like $29 dollars. It's a real steal cause they don't take pirate money, but if you're willing to part with Polly the Parott, you can get a real sweet deal.
Arrrgh!
posted by doctorschlock at 3:52 AM on January 23, 2009


I would like to thank the pirates who have not currently released a watchable version of Australia. Perhaps the key to financial security for the movie industry rests in producing mills and boon type entertainment that no pirate would copy in case he lost his street cred.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:56 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Andrea: Don't ever sign your posts again. Please.

I have signed comments probably 300 times by accident, as if I'm finishing an e-mail. It's only by the grace of Bluebeard that I've not yet hit "return"... I don't think.
posted by rokusan at 5:05 AM on January 23, 2009


I find it helps never to post to Metafilter after writing an email to Mom.



love,
your special little guy
posted by Spatch at 5:19 AM on January 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's bad form to sign your messages.

-- The Non-Message Signing Guy
posted by jamstigator at 5:25 AM on January 23, 2009


I would like to thank the pirates who have not currently released a watchable version of Australia.

I don't think the movie studios have released a watchable version of Australia yet either.

(Australia - evidence that entire nations should be able to sue for defamation.)
posted by outlier at 5:26 AM on January 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


That's pretty sad that any one would even watch a pirated version of Australia. We pirates
will act out the movie for a small fee. Arrgh!
posted by doctorschlock at 6:19 AM on January 23, 2009


But for those of us who can't or won't, please stop breaking the rules.

For those of you that can't, I don't break the rules. I bought a copy of World of Goo rather than pirate it, for instance (after playing the demo). But no way in hell am I paying for Golden Compass which turned out to not even be worth the time I spent watching it, let alone any ticket price I would have theoretically paid.
posted by DU at 6:28 AM on January 23, 2009


You wouldn't steal a baby...
posted by orme at 6:29 AM on January 23, 2009


Australia is at least as good as, or better than, Gone With the Wind. It's a 'Blade Runner' film = people didn't know what they were looking at - one astonishing shot after another - a gorgeous melodramatic paean to old Hollywood; in twenty years, if not sooner, it will be regarded as a classic.

Re: the subject of the thread = what everybody else has said.
posted by jettloe at 6:37 AM on January 23, 2009



But for those of us who can't or won't, please stop breaking the rules.


One wonders whether this applies to smoking pot, drinking under 21, betting on sports, or whether it just applies to your chosen occupation.

There is no justification for charging $11 to see a movie in the theater, or to pay $20 for the DVD that I will never watch more than once. $60 will buy you games that come on five DVDs and that offer 50 hours of entertainment. And that is a creative medium that isn't exhausted, and isn't yet dominated by lowest common denominator marketing.

Thanks for listening.

THEY CALL ME PASTABAGEL
posted by Pastabagel at 6:40 AM on January 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


... "pay $20 for the DVD that I will never watch more than once. $60 will buy you games that come on five DVDs and that offer 50 hours of entertainment" ...

Isn't that the reason rental places exist? And thanks to NetFlix and GameFly, you can rent a whole lotta movies and games, if you don't want to keep the items.

I break the law. I think of it as sampling the products. I have walls of music, and I'll keep on buying more. But 30 second snippets do no justice to 8 minute long tracks, just as trailers in no way replicate a full movie.

I like to think of eBay as the great equalizer - there you will see some element of market forces without MSRP getting involved. Yeah, it's a mix of used and new, but when no one wants to pay more than $5 for a DVD 3 months after it's released, that's saying something. Whenever I buy DVDs from retail stores, I feel like I'm being gouged, knowing full and well I can wait a few months to buy a used copy, or browse DVD Price Search and save bunches at Amazon or some other online shop. There's an international DVD sale comparison site, too, though I forget where it is.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:05 AM on January 23, 2009


I've noticed that there is a distinct segment of the population that condemns what they have no business condemning in the interest of protecting their field.

Every member of the Academy receives a free copy of all of those movies to watch, right? Why shouldn't I?
posted by graventy at 7:11 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


It would be interesting to see some effort to connect number of copies downloaded vs. theatre tickets and DVDs sold, and/or vs region. Some countries don't get Major Movies until months later than the point of origin, or some might never get a theatrical release. Then DVDs are delayed by another many months, and you can add a few more for overseas distribution. With the option to get it now, even in an inferior quality than theatres or DVDs, some people don't mind.

I like the idea that piracy displays the shortcomings of a market. Some price points and release dates cannot be supported by retail media, but some are inflated to suit some fictional sweet spot of maximum profit. Why not release plain movies on DVD, no features, weeks after the theatrical releases? Boo hoo, theatre owners. Maybe movie goers can pay twice the price, and get the basic DVD mailed to them once it's available, or days before others? There, I provided an idea, instead of just saying "information wants to be free."
posted by filthy light thief at 7:15 AM on January 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


I make digital entertainment. I'd appreciate it if you played by the rules. Copyright infringement is against the law. Don't like the law? Change it. Call your local representative. Fly to DC and have a talk with your Senator, or donate to someone who will do that for you.

People who download movies illegally from the Internet don't pay lobbyists to change the law because doing so would be completely pointless.

The entertainment industry already pays vast amounts of money to get laws like the DMCA passed, and works with hardware and software companies to come up with convoluted copy protection systems. In response, random people on the Internet setup distribution systems that are difficult to prosecute (such as peer-to-peer networks) and spend time breaking the copy protection systems.

That's how the system works. The people who are downloading movies don't have much of an incentive to change the system, because they are already getting what they want. The film industry will do their best to try to change the system but in my opinion it's a losing battle.
posted by burnmp3s at 7:15 AM on January 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Every member of the Academy receives a free copy of all of those movies to watch, right? Why shouldn't I?

Because you're not a member of The Academy?

To me, the real lesson in Waxy's annual survey is the pent-up demand for watching movies at home. I'm confident that if there were a simple, legal way to pay $5 to watch a new release at home instead of stealing it on BitTorrent, people would pay just for the convenience.
posted by Nelson at 7:16 AM on January 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Pastabagel sauid: "One wonders whether this applies to smoking pot, drinking under 21, betting on sports, or whether it just applies to your chosen occupation."

It does. In all cases. The rules matter. Either they all do or none of them do. My friends *hate* that, sometimes. I skew libertarian on many such things -- so long as no one gets hurt, do as you will -- and yet I still think that the law needs to matter. I wouldn't have had a place in Federal governance between 2001 and 2008.

Changing the law is difficult. The more money that is made with the current scheme, the less people want it being changed. (For instance, the war on drugs. Or the anti-equal marriage laws. HUGE money made all over the political spectrum keeping these the way they are.) And, yet, with time and effort, change happens. Cities all over have decriminalized pot, Massachusetts has true equal marriage and many other state have something similar.

...and I'm writing this as someone who is happy with the anti-drug laws the way they are. The point that I'm making is this: ignoring the rules because they don't suit you is childish, is not fair, and ultimately serves you but not the greater good. If you think copyright truly has no value, then argue that with your representative or senator.

(I signed the post because it was a mock letter. Sorry for toe-mashing or violating the etiquette.)
posted by andreaazure at 7:16 AM on January 23, 2009


graventy - because you can't vote. Yeah, why can't the Academy be bothered to see the film in the proper setting of a theatre? Why not just give them free movie passes? Maybe they'd be swayed by the swill-drinking public, or distracted by all the noises from other people.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:19 AM on January 23, 2009


andreaazure: Your initial post might have been better received if you pointed out some actual detrimental effects of copyright infringement. A shout of "It breaks the rules!" Is always way less convincing than "It's wrong!"

And now in your second post, you've maneuvered yourself into defending all unjust laws. You're all but inviting everyone to bring up slavery and the holocaust. You're asking everyone to ask you about your history of jaywalking. Is that what you want the thread to come to?
posted by ODiV at 8:12 AM on January 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ignoring the rules is what makes us human. If we followed all the rules, we'd be robots.

Well, I guess some people can choose to follow all the rules if they want to. They can even be all righteous about it if they want to. That's part of the diversity of the opinion that exists in any human society.

But how are we supposed to know we even want to change the rules if we never do things that are against them? I think a lot of these rules just seem pretty arbitrary. To take it to an extreme, if you're town happens to have one of those ridiculous old laws such as "it's illegal to take a bath on Friday" then should you follow that law too? Also, who constitutes an authority that makes rules that you should follow? Some people think that religious rules are higher then civil rules. In that case, should you have to follow the rules that other people think are most important, or your own?

In the United States, the Constitution is the highest law of the land, so if Congress passes a law that you consider unconstitutional do you have to follow it? Or should you wait for the Supreme Court to decide?

These are just a few questions that arise when you decide that it's just as simple as "everyone should just follow the rules" Not to mention that in this case no one has ever been prosecuted for illegally downloading a copyrighted file, partly due to the fact that it's arguably not illegal. What is illegal is making the file availably for others to download.
posted by jefeweiss at 8:13 AM on January 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yes, yes, yes, but what of casual, family-friendly sports? Stats?
posted by piratebowling at 8:28 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


To me, the real lesson in Waxy's annual survey is the pent-up demand for watching movies at home. I'm confident that if there were a simple, legal way to pay $5 to watch a new release at home instead of stealing it on BitTorrent, people would pay just for the convenience.

And there are, several, and yet the studios continue to shoot themselves in the foot with regional lockouts and marketing pushes and etc. For example, I recently saw Burn After Reading on my AppleTV. Something I want to watch, yay! Except I could only buy it for $14.99 or wait another week or two to rent it. By that time, the scene has already bought, ripped, and released a high quality rip of the DVD. What's my incentive to wait to rent? They could either have gotten $5 or nothing from me - I'm through buying movies these days, with limited exceptions. And due to some marketing notion of getting sales out to everyone who will buy one, they're probably going to get nothing. (In actuality, I had pretty much forgotten about it in the meantime, which probably means it's rentable now. Yay! But that says more about my lack of initiative than anything.)

And pushing even earlier than that, allowing movies to be streamed to viewer's homes while it's still in the theater? _bliss_. We might need some sort of noxious communicable disease to kill off the chains first, though.

I think the place that really gets murky is where the studios will limit a store's ability to rent a movie due to other contractual concerns - Showtime is playing 2004's Summer Blockbuster, so we can't rent it for the duration, or Showtime's feelings are hurt, etc.
posted by Kyol at 8:48 AM on January 23, 2009


I think I'd rather see the Oscars ninja'd than pirated, myself.
posted by owtytrof at 8:59 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


How 'bout distribution companies banding together to offer subscription services that are valid regardless of venue - so if I subscribe I get discounts at the movie theatre itself, when I buy a ‘hard copy’ or stream/download it? A Universal Movie Pass? With all content available at the same time?
posted by jettloe at 9:04 AM on January 23, 2009


I make digital entertainment. I'd appreciate it if you played by the rules. Copyright infringement is against the law. Don't like the law? Change it.

I can understand this point of view, but something being illegal doesn't always mean that someone should stop doing it. I know that sounds like a weird thing to say. But remember that being gay was once illegal. Drinking alcohol was once illegal. These things didn't go away because everyone just stopped being gay or drinking alcohol and then politely asking their corrupt politicians to do them a solid and change the law. The law changed because everyone made it clear that they weren't going to stop and they weren't going to go anywhere, and they rasied a damn fuss. That's the way it works.

I can appreciate that you think you feel the effects of this behavior in your pocketbook. I'm not going to say you should support piracy, or invest in a new distribution medium for your work or anything like that. I'm just saying it's not as simple as you're making it sound.
posted by shmegegge at 9:15 AM on January 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


I didn't think the big brains in Washington would ever come up with a bigger loser than The War on Drugs, in terms of fighting the wrong enemy... but now we have The War on Copyright Theft.

It's like a perfect 1:1 digital copy of the previous debacle.
posted by rokusan at 9:37 AM on January 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Every member of the Academy receives a free copy of all of those movies to watch, right? Why shouldn't I?

You will. As soon as one of those Academy members pirates those movies. Which happens. A lot.
posted by dithered at 9:45 AM on January 23, 2009


ODiV , a question on a point of order - did you just godwin this thread, or metagodwin it?
posted by IAmBroom at 9:52 AM on January 23, 2009


It always strikes me as odd that a group of people typically making money from their own IP (typically salary for writing software) maintains that a seperate group of people doesn't deserve to make money from a different IP (media copyright). Or that because they think the price is too high, it's ok to take it without paying for it.
posted by garlic at 9:56 AM on January 23, 2009


garlic: That's because all these moralistic arguments are nothing but self justification. People like free shit and will justify free shit in whatever way lets them sleep at night.
posted by Justinian at 10:56 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


If the argument was "I like free shit!" or "I probably wasn't going to pay for it anyway!" it would annoy me a lot less - at least theres some honesty to that.
posted by Artw at 11:08 AM on January 23, 2009


It always strikes me as odd that a group of people typically making money from their own IP (typically salary for writing software) maintains that a seperate group of people doesn't deserve to make money from a different IP (media copyright).

You're on to something, which I haven't seen talked about much in the IP debate. There's a divide between software developers and artists. Software developers are much more likely to support IP reform. I don't think this necessarily means that they're more likely to support pirating content, but to be honest, they probably do pirate content more, because they're more familiar and comfortable with file sharing technologies.

A lot of developers who support reform are coming from the free software community. They saw firsthand the enormous value that sharing code has brought to the world. So they'd like to apply that model to other media. There's a cultural thing going on here. I'm sure it's also related to the fact that software developers make more on average than other artists.

You can see this divide reflected in the uproar over spec work on sites like craigslist. It's mostly been graphic designers and other artists who have rallied against doing design work for free.

I wish I had some figures on the demographic breakdown of copyright reform support. It'd make a great dissertation. But I just want to reiterate that just because a group is behind reforming the IP system does not mean they want to steal your work. There are a ton of problems with our current system.
posted by formless at 11:30 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love me some free shit
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:38 PM on January 23, 2009


But while I love free shit as much as the next guy, I:

a.) Watched Deadwood when it was screened on TV, on cable that I paid for
b.) Downloaded ripped episodes so I could watch 'em again
c.) Bought the full boxed set last week, so I could watch on Home Theatre system
d.) Should it come out on Blue-Ray, I'll buy that too.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:44 PM on January 23, 2009


ODiV: Your initial post might have been better received if you pointed out some actual detrimental effects of copyright infringement. A shout of "It breaks the rules!" Is always way less convincing than "It's wrong!"

I don't actually need to prove harm. The way the rules are written is plenty. In fact, I believe that most digital entertainment should be cheap or free -- but that isn't the point. If BMG or MGM (for instance) wants to make a mistake with their pricing structure, that is their mistake to make. I am not above the rules.

And now in your second post, you've maneuvered yourself into defending all unjust laws. You're all but inviting everyone to bring up slavery and the holocaust. You're asking everyone to ask you about your history of jaywalking. Is that what you want the thread to come to?

Comparing a civil violation to human rights offenses is a great way to start a flame war. I just won't bite. I will day this, though: as a human being, I have the right to exist without being owned or killed. I don't have the right to every bit of data I want just because I like the way it looks or sounds.
posted by andreaazure at 6:28 PM on January 23, 2009


I'll just leave this here.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:35 PM on January 23, 2009


andreaazure: Comparing a civil violation to human rights offenses is a great way to..

Your earlier comment allows no such distinction: "The rules matter. Either they all do or none of them do."

as a human being, I have the right to exist without being owned or killed

Trivially false. A cold-blooded killer can have their life terminated in turn by the State. A minor is subject to guardians and can be shuttled around if the State disapproves of them. There are actions for which a person can be and are confined by force for long periods a.k.a prisoners. So these rights are not applicable merely for the fact of human being. And if you are going to appeal to some natural divination for these 'rights', then you are no longer talking of the same "rules" as earlier.
posted by Gyan at 1:35 AM on January 25, 2009


That's some Grade A pedantry, right there.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:12 AM on January 25, 2009


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