Posted by: bklunk | September 13, 2006

China Thought It Was More Guidelines than An Actual Code

WB to make foolhardy attempt at battling Chinese piracy

In this post from AfterDawn, we see that WB has announced a bold new strategy for combating the rampant DVD piracy in China: they will release super-cheap DVDs (with few or no special features) extremely soon after a theatrical release.  They’ll sell for roughly $2.65, which is only about a dollar more than the average pirated DVD sells for.  Before I give some background on the huge-and-growing black market that costs American entertainment companies over $16 billion per year, I would like to point out to WB (not that they’ll see this) that all they are going to do is provide the pirates with very high-quality copies of their movies.  Rather than take a cam into the theatre or get hold of a cheap screener, all a pirate has to do is purchase one of the new super-cheap DVDs, crack the rights protection, and voila!, the pirate can still sell his copies for a dollar less than the legitimate copies and make oodles upon oodles of sweet, sweet illegal money.  Basically, it would seem, WB is simply making it easier than ever to pirate DVDs in China.

Another post from AfterDawn helps to illustrate the Intellectual Property situation in China; basically, China is the Tortuga of the Digital Age.  Pirates operate with few threats to their safety, under little scrutiny, and with relative impunity.  Sure, the police snapped up 85 million pirated publications in 2004 but when you consider that IP piracy cost American corporations over $2.6 billion in 2003, it is clear that 85 million pirated publications (including DVDs which can sell for as little as $1.80, sometimes less) is a mere sliver of a gigantic, lucrative pirate-pie.  IP piracy in China is a huge black market industry, with knock-offs and pirated versions of everything from shoes to pills to the latest Christina Augilera album.  The government does most of the anti-piracy work on its own, due in part to stringent restrictions on the abilities of NGOs to file lawsuits, enforce their own rules, and to even exist.  In the US, we have groups such as the MPAA and RIAA which enjoy the freedom to threaten children and the elderly with lawsuits but in China, only the government and the Music Copyright Society appear to have that level of liberty to pursue the protection of Intellectual Property Rights.  This of course hampers the fight against piracy, as the government is also busy governing, and the heavily restricted Music Copyright Society hardly has the resources to battle a black market so vibrant that it includes many factories and otherwise legitimate-seeming businesses across the nation.  China is of course not the only nation in the world with a vibrant black market, but theirs is probably the largest, and certainly the most famous.  The entire Asia-Pacific region, in fact, boasts a large piracy community, with international laws regarding IP protection being used as cage liner for their figurative parrots. 

More history and high digital seas adventure to come in the future!

I don’t have much to comment here.  This blogger seems like a good writer who may actually be interested in the topic he is blogging.  This post provides a good informative start for the blog.

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  1. I agree that this is a major issue overseas. It extends not only to China but to Japan, Thialand, and Korea. As these pirated DVDs, CDs, etc are coming into our country, our economy is being effected, especially in the entertainment industry. However, it may cause us to take a look at the price at which DVDs, Cds, are being sold. In the U.S. the average DVD costs $15-$25, and CDs are $11-$18. This is sordof high in my opinion. If someone can rent, and burn the CD/DVD for WAY cheaper, or buy a pirate CD, DVD, with little to no repercussions then this black market will continue to flourish.

  2. There is a major issue of piracy in China. I went there a couple of years ago and they sold everything from Louis Vuitton knock offs to DVDs and for really really cheap! not to mention that China is very inexpensive itself- food, hotel, entertainment all very inexpensive compared to the US. But the issue of piracy it would be very hard to control in China. it’s everywhere and they don’t even try to hid it. i think piracy is wrong because it takes money away from those who make it the producers, actors singers etc. but from those who do buy pirated things i can see there argument. the entertainment industry is a billion dollar industry and $15 dollars for a movie or CD is a rip off. singers like (i will use the bloggers example) Christina Aguleria campaign against piracy why? because then she doesn’t get more money- its pathetic how rich young hollywood already is. the thought of Lindsay Lohan is really sad- she is doesnt do anything good with her money. So in conclusion, its not that I don’t have enough to pay for a $15 dollar movie, is that why should i just so these companies and pathetic actress turned singers make more money. especially when just as easily as going to the video store i can buy a pirate movie for $1. thats $14 for school, books, food, more pirated DVD’s. A smart solution has been made by the WB to make the movies cheaper. bravo.

  3. haha Bravo indeed Jenna. That was very well written!

  4. I find it interesting how pirating of dvds, cds, and other items in the entertainment industry has moved so swiftly from napster to China. It seems to me that the entertainment companies pissed of Americans in regards to there lawsuits against those implicated in file sharing to the point where they were forced to move elsewhere to regain some of their lost profits. I know for a fact file sharing has in no way been leveled off in the U.S., and in fact it’s probably increased steadily since the entertainment industry started suing unsuspecting teenagers. Just walk into any dorm room, or high schoolers bedroom and more than likely you’ll find a file sharing program on their computer. China it seems is the best chance at getting some of their lost money back, as unlike in America, China performs its piracy in the open for everybody to see. However even with this “open-air” trading of items in public places I still think the entertainment industry has no chance at really curving the pirating problem in China, and abroad for that matter, i mean come on, just look at how well it did in its own backyard!

  5. Thanks for sharing this information. Really is pack with new knowledge. Keep them coming.

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