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Oscars 2014: '12 Years a Slave' sees huge spike in pirating after Oscar win

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The period drama 12 Years a Slave won the Academy Award for Best Picture just two days ago, and now people who previously missed out on seeing it are clamoring to check it out.

According to TorrentFreak on Tuesday, the film saw a huge surge in illegal downloads the day after the Oscar win. Viewing of the movie on piracy websites reportedly tripled, translating to roughly 100,000 extra downloads on Monday alone.

Gravity, which won seven of the 10 Oscars is was nominated for, also saw a big spike in piracy, as downloads more than doubled after Sunday.

TorrentFreak calls the spike in illegal downloads for Oscar movies a "recurring phenomenon," citing The Hurt Locker, which won Best Picture in 2010. Voltage Pictures ultimately sued over 24,000 downloaders, making it the biggest file-sharing lawsuit ever.

It has also been announced that 12 Years a Slave has the go-ahead to be shown (legally) in schools. The National School Boards Association says it is teaming up with New Regency, Penguin Books, and producers to distribute the film and the book it was based on to public high schools starting this fall.

Talk show host Montel Williams is coordinating the initiative, which follows up his previous successful bid to introduce the Civil War film Glory into the curriculum.

"Since first reading 12 Years a Slave, it has been my dream that this book be taught in schools," director Steve McQueen said. "I am immensely grateful to Montel Williams and the National School Boards Association for making this dream a reality and for sharing Solomon Northup’s story with today’s generation."


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