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Chinese mainlanders will have to turn to piracy to watch the latest American blockbusters

China is blocking the import of American films, said MPAA CEO and Chairman Dan Glickman in an official statement released last week.

“Although we have not received official confirmation of such a ban from the Chinese Government or China Film, the indicators are strong that our information is correct,” read the statement. “If such action has been taken … it would represent an enormous step backwards in terms of China’s efforts to develop a strong … and legitimate film exhibition and distribution market.”

In a move that some suspect is retaliation for a recent U.S.-filed WTO complaint over China’s alarmingly high piracy rate, the Chinese government appears to have stopped granting import requests to American filmmakers -- of which it normally allows for about 20 movies per year. According to one anonymous Hollywood executive speaking to The New York Times, the Chinese government became suddenly uncooperative; filmmakers’ movie import requests for early next year have thus far been ignored, delayed, or come back denied.

“We are working with top officials in the US government, including the Treasury Secretary, as well as the Trade Representative and Secretary of Commerce, both of whom are in China at the moment,” said Glickman. “If these reports are true, it is unacceptable that China has taken this action and we will bring all our resources and leverage to bear to address this situation.”

A spokeswoman from the Chinese State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television, declined to comment on the so-called ban, noting that if such a ban was in place it would have been officially announced on the Administration’s web site.

American filmmakers, many of whom are betting heavily on the growing the Chinese market, say China’s restrictive stance on American movies is a direct contributor to the country’s high piracy rate. The previous 20-movie limit is “a very low number to begin with,” said U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab, “and we believe the low number contributes to the problems [we] have in intellectual property rights protection.”

A Chinese ban on American movies “would be very serious indeed,” said Schwab, who at the time was at a Strategic Economic Dialogue meeting outside Beijing. “We have spoken forcefully to our Chinese hosts.”

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RE: China
By amanojaku on 12/19/2007 6:45:53 PM , Rating: 4
Good luck with that. Americans, and the rest of the world, want goods that are inexpensive. Blocking Chinese items would probably cause other countries to raise prices in response to the higher demand. Most people aren't going to care that the Chinese can't see classic films like "The Fantastic Four" and "Titanic" (hold on, I have to stop laughing... ow, my sides!!!) but people will complain when things go up 10 bucks.

RE: China
By jonrem on 12/19/2007 8:05:30 PM , Rating: 3
Then it's time U.S. Corporations started looking for ways to manufacture outside of China in places like India with immense pools of labor. Oh wait, the whole democracy thing kinda gets in the way there.

RE: China
By bangmal on 12/20/2007 5:48:27 AM , Rating: 1
Can the US sustain that long? Little rise in the interest left millions unable to pay the mortgage.

The day that the enemy could not touch your mainland is gone, and the day waiting for the enemy to crumble and dissolve by himself is now just a fantasy.

American has almost used up its luck. It is a different world now.

RE: China
By mdogs444 on 12/20/2007 6:51:42 AM , Rating: 5
Can the US sustain that long? Little rise in the interest left millions unable to pay the mortgage.

I hope you realize thats not true at all.

In fact the bottom line reason that many people cannot pay their mortgage is Greed & Stupidity. With the last 10 years of homes going up in value at such a fast pace, lenders started giving out home loans to people with poor credit who should not be getting home loans. The thought was that if you give them "zero down" and "no interest" loans, that even if they defaulted on the homes 3 years down the road, the house would have appreciated to the point that they would still profit on it, as well as getting a few years of interest paid to them as more profit.

Lenders made stupid loans to people, and people were greedy buying larger & more expensive homes than they could afford with the thought that they could turn around and sell it for profit before the interest rate changes, and they have to start paying off the principal.

What pisses me off is that the Govt is stepping in and helping out these people and lenders, with our tax money, for being greedy and making stupid investment moves.

So while the honest and smart people out there still pay rent and save up to buy a home with a smart loan that they can afford, others bought homes out of their range and the person saving up has to help bail out the greedy ones.

What happened to free market? You make choices - sometimes you win sometimes you lose. These people lost and should be forced to deal with their consequences, as well as the business.

RE: China
By FITCamaro on 12/20/2007 10:51:35 AM , Rating: 3
Extremely well said. The housing situation is entirely the lenders fault. They made up new types of loans as they went to do whatever they could to get people to buy homes.

I'm actually kind of glad this happened because its deflated the cost of homes back to a somewhat reasonable level.

And yes I'm also pissed my tax dollars are going to bail out these companies and people affected by it. All doing that teaches people is "Hey, if I screw up, the government will fix it for me". That in turn breeds reliance on the government. Just like social welfare programs that, while people used to feel ashamed to be on them, now people act like it is their god given right to get handouts from the government.

RE: China
By Tacoloft on 12/20/2007 5:39:33 PM , Rating: 2
Good comments-
I want to put in my 2 cents on this. I understand that our tax dollars are not going towards this. What the lenders have agreed to do is keep rates the same for the next 5 years instead of hiking them up like they were planning to. This will allow those who cannot afford to get out from under the debt and still allows the lenders to make money that they would otherwise loose if the rate hike occurred.
Correct me if I'm wrong.

Also, I whole heartedly agree that people need to get off their rumps and work. IMO the government should only focus and do 3 things. 1. Build roads, 2. Protect it's citizens (not from financial loss--but physically from harm) 3. Stay out of my life (taxes, Political Correctness, public institutions--all have to go... then freedom will truly ring.)

RE: China
By Spuke on 12/20/07, Rating: 0
RE: China
By Tacoloft on 12/21/2007 5:45:44 PM , Rating: 2
Please define "less fortunate". the problem is that the federal government thinks that the definition applies to anyone and everyone.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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