Wednesday, March 23, 2011

DVD Pirates Running Rampant in China (LA Times)

With no outlets akin to Netflix, Blockbuster or iTunes legitimately selling or renting a broad selection of titles, Chinese movie buffs opt for illegal Internet downloads or pirated DVDs. More and more piracy has migrated to the Web in China, though reliable estimates of its magnitude are hard to find. Still, bootleg DVDs — slickly produced and packaged, some with "extras" even better than those found on legitimate discs — remain a huge business and give an indication of the scale of the problem: According to a report in state-run media, the country's pirate DVD industry raked in $6 billion in 2010. By comparison, China's box-office receipts totaled $1.5 billion last year. ...

Given that the government has demonstrated it can stamp out the online and street sales of material it objects to, such as religious texts or democracy literature, many outsiders believe Beijing has good reason for looking the other way on commercial piracy. The business interests of the country's military, the People's Liberation Army, may be a factor.
The article states that it is estimated that nine out of every ten DVDs in China are bootlegs, many of which are of very good quality, and are priced at about $1.25 each. Can you imagine?! I know we're all interested to see how this plays out, but personally, I don't think piracy is going anywhere any time soon.

Read the full article here.

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