MPAA's no DVD decree could hurt indies at Oscars

Roger Ebert has a good article about the new move by the MPAA to ban the sending of DVDs prior to this year's Oscars and its likely chilling effect on independent films.

At issue is a decree made last month by Jack Valenti (head of the MPAA) in an effort to "stem piracy" of movies. The decree calls for studios to not follow the usual practice of sending out DVD copies of in-theater movies so that members of the academy can screen them in the privacy of their own homes.

Ebert argues that this kind of policy will cause difficulty for films that are otherwise less available (such as art films and other small-budget independents) that usually count on these in-home screenings to get the word out prior to Oscar time.