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The illegal downloaders' Oscar winners

Bit Torrent has tabulated the numbers of downloads for each Oscar movie on its site. If each download represented one vote, then the winner, with more than 12 million votes, is a surprising one.

A vast number of people will be seated Sunday evening, desperate to hear a good joke while the movie industry pats itself on its behind.

I am sure you have your favorites. For myself, I only hope that the divinity that is Sandra Bullock wins an Oscar, as she would then complete the most coveted double of winning an Oscar and a Razzie (which she picked up in person Saturday) in the same year.

The fine folk over at Torrent Freak have their own hopes. However, they have created a wonderful prelude to the big event, far more interesting than any discussion of rented frocks, baubles and faces, by calculating which of the nominated movies has been torrented the most.

Your champagne might go up an inappropriate nostril when I tell you that the most torrented movie among the 10 nominated for an Oscar was "District 9." Yes, the movie that makes you feel prawns have a soul and South Africans with mustaches do not always make for the best dinner companions.

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Just behind this disturbingly human movie was "Avatar," followed by "The Hurt Locker," "Up" (so many naughty downloading 7-year-olds?), and "Inglourious Basterds." At the very end of the freeloading preference table came Bulllock's "The Blind Side" and "An Education."

Torrent Freak is careful to point out that some of the nominated movies only leaked into the Web's avaricious clutches over the last few weeks. Still, perhaps the information that you might find most indicative of an interesting world is that 12,639,000 people torrented "District 9." (This includes cammed versions.)

You will decide how hard to weep for the producers of this movie when I tell you that on a budget of $30 million, it grossed more than $200 million worldwide.

I have a feeling that "District 9" will not be the choice of the very old, short-sighted people who choose Oscar winners.

However, wouldn't it be fun if a prawn leaped onto the stage, grabbed James Cameron's Oscar from his delighted fingers and declared that director Neill Blomkamp's work was a far more accurate and vivid depiction of the world to come?