Movie Piracy? Blame Canada!

Post ImageLooks like the “our business model sucks so let’s insult our customers” mantra has made it to the desks of Warner Bros. executives. If you’ve never been to an advance movie screening, too bad, because they are now banned for Warner Bros. movies in Canada:

Frustrated with unauthorized camcording of its new releases in Canadian cinemas, the studio said it will immediately halt all “promotional and word-of-mouth screenings” of upcoming releases.

“We regret having to cancel our screenings in Canada, but our studio must take steps to protect not only our branded assets but our commitment to our filmmakers and to our distributors,” Warner Bros. president of domestic distribution Dan Fellman said.

I can honestly say that were I to download a movie that was recorded using a camcorder in a theatre, I would immediately delete it. Not because I am sleeping with movie studio executives, but because a movie recorded using a camcorder just can’t look very good. Any serious pirate will have the time and bandwidth to go for quality!

When will these idiots learn? Camcorders in Canada are not the source of piracy. I doubt the practice has any measurable effect on the movie industry at all. Mathew Ingram points out a number of flaws with the argument being made, and Engadget gets a dig in too, noting the ban affects upcoming movies like…

…the upcoming Ocean’s Thirteen and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which’ll surely not be pirated now.

Surely not indeed! Come back next week to read about Warner Bros. suing toddlers and their grandparents!

Read: Reuters

Piracy in China

Post ImageThere always seems to be something in the news about China (and to a lesser extent, India) these days, and it’s usually about how China is changing in one way or another. Even articles that seem to talk about a lack of change really talk about change:

But one thing never seems to change, and it’s as obvious on street corners today as it was six years ago. In 1999, when “Star Wars Episode 1–The Phantom Menace” debuted, it was quickly pirated on DVDs that sold throughout China for next to nothing.

Fast forward to May 2005–four years after China joined the World Trade Organization and embraced its stringent rules on intellectual property rights. When “Star Wars: Episode III–Revenge of the Sith” opened in U.S. theaters, copies again hit the streets of Beijing within days. Sold out of bicycle baskets by roving vendors, available in mom-and-pop retail stores everywhere, the counterfeit DVDs retailed for about 75 cents each.

Yes, piracy is a big problem in the world, and not just in China though the problem is particularly evident there. Why is it bad though? Change!

What’s standing in the way of better intellectual property rights enforcement? “It’s not a plot,” says Bruce Lehman, former commissioner of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the chairman of the International Intellectual Property Institute. “It’s the result of a system in transition.”

It’s a pretty safe bet actually, when you hear China, just guess change!

Read: CNET News.com