Piracy becomes a serious threat to DVD in Asia

Many of you have already noticed that pirated DVD discs are already available in the US for a number of films that have not officially been released to DVD. While they may look like official releases from a different region, these discs are usually pirated versions of these films.
Most of these pirated version come from the Pacific Rim, usually Hong Kong and China, where copyright laws are taken considerably less serious than here in the US.
Now, it seems the problem is becoming even worse. Here’s a snippet from today’s “Hollywood Reporter” on the very issue.

HONG KONG — While Asia’s economic downturn continues to
impact cinema development and moviegoing, the region’s long-term prospects
still remain tantalizingly bright, but both trends are currently overshadowed by
the rapid increase in piracy, particularly in video compact discs (VCDs) and
DVDs, delegates at the annual cinema trade convention CineAsia were told
here Thursday. “(VCD) piracy is becoming the greatest challenge our industry
has ever faced … and it’s spreading so rapidly it’s going to be a problem not
just in Asia but for the whole world,” said Mike Connors, senior vp of the
Motion Picture Assn., Asia Pacific, speaking at a seminar titled “The Motion
Picture Industry in Asia: the Facts, the Figures and the Future.” Connors said
the ease and relatively low costs associated with optical disc manufacturing
mean that despite efforts to crack down on pirates in mainland China, new
operations are opening in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Macao and other territories.
“For pirates this is quick, easy money and they’ll be popping up everywhere,”
he said. For as little as $2, consumers can pick up the latest U.S. films on
VCD often before or just after their release. In Hong Kong, for example,
copies of “A Bug’s Life,” just released here, were already available in stalls in
the main shopping district for HK$30 ($4).

We would like to advise all our readers to stay away from pirated DVD
releases. Not only are they of minor quality, they also damage the DVD format
itself considerably, as they have been created without consent of the actual
copyright owners. Movies can only be produced if the people who invest in them
see a revenue from their work. Every pirated DVD sold, severly damages the film making industry.

Leave a comment