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Over at Slate, fully cybernetic BoingBoing futuro-blogger Xeni Jardin files a report on the start of every file-sharing geek's favorite time of the year, the annual kick-off of the awards screener piracy season. A handful of awards hopefuls are already burning up the BitTorrent wires, courtesy of either Academy voters or others with the opportunity to feed the piracy pipeline:

Academy members or others tapped in to the screener-distribution chain have already posted copies of Syriana, Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, North Country, and Memoirs of a Geisha to the peer-to-peer file-sharing network BitTorrent, complete with "FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION" blurbs and studio IDs.

No matter what watermarking technology or magic DVD solution the MPAA implements to try and slow down screener leaks, the pirates will always be a step ahead. Maybe they should adopt tactics like those of Lionsgate, whose flooding of the screener-zone with 130,000 DVDs of Crash is sure to make the product as desirable as AOL subscription CDs. Here's an idea: Seed the P2P networks with so many pristine copies of Paul Haggis' heavy-handed baby that movie downloaders everywhere lose the will to hunt around for stuff they'd actually like to see.