Print 133 comment(s) - last by Kyanzes.. on Dec 27 at 2:40 PM

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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I've had just about enough
By Growly on 12/19/2007 10:32:48 PM , Rating: 2
Why is it that more than half the posts I see on DailyTech are made my extremely pro-American nutjobs who believe that anything with "America" associated with it is inherently superior to every other entity in the entire universe? Do you believe this "America" of yours is God's gift, saviour, messiah - or something to that effect?

You're doing your country more harm than good with such myopia. America is a beautiful place, full of amazing people and history - just like the rest of the world. The Americans I know are wonderful people, I value them for their culture amidst other things.

Unfortunately, you're only human, so while China may have its own problems, so do you. Just please, please, keep this in mind.

On topic, while this may be a bastard thing of China to do, personally I'm all for it. 90% of all Hollywood productions I see are absolute crap. There are the gems, the arts, etc, but mostly crap. If I were Chinese, I'd be happy - but you can bet most of them are actually quite upset if this is in fact true. Nothing like mindless plots to pass the time anywhere in the world.

The American government isn't exactly a shining beacon of fair trade and altruistic economical charity, either. I also think publicly blaming the country of manufacture for an importer's lack of standards and quality control is shocking. Matel (Spelling? I think it was) is a prime example - and they ended up apologising for accusing the Chinese manufacturers eventually, albeit it quietly and without much press attention.

Ultimately though, this is a win for freedom everywhere. RIAA + MPAA are the real axis of evil, and we need a coalition of the willing to make them pay for their crimes.

RE: I've had just about enough
By jonrem on 12/19/2007 11:27:18 PM , Rating: 1
A. Because America rules and you obviously don't live here. try surfing for quality Japanese porn in China...
B. The United States is the single BIGGEST contributor of economic aid to other countries. Sure we are a bit protectionist, but when China won't allow its currency to value at market levels.....
C. Freedom is about people being able to live as they want to, not about being able to steal IP from the U.S. and other countries.
I dislike the RIAA and MPAA's stand on fair use, but respect trade organizations that are willing to protect what is rightfullly theirs.

RE: I've had just about enough
By cochy on 12/20/2007 12:16:25 AM , Rating: 2
You speak as though this issue is about morals when it fact it (and just about every issue) is about nothing else but cold hard cash.

If China bans American movies, that's their right to. The RIAA and MPAA think they can strong arm everyone out there. If Chinese pirate all their movies, good for them. There's no loss sales anyway.

I guess by banning American movies China would be saying something along the lines of

"Well you think that there's huge pirating going on here and you're losing all these sales, so how about we disallow you to sell here so there won't be a problem anymore?"

Not like the Chinese people would care as they are pirating anyway (according to the MPAA).

It's perfectly logical if you ask me.

RE: I've had just about enough
By Tacoloft on 12/20/2007 5:04:05 PM , Rating: 2
This is just like prohibition of alcohol in Americas Roaring Twenties. The product still got distributed- mostly by gangs like Al Capone and Bugs Moran who made millions of dollars from selling it.
You cannot tell me with a straight face that thousands if not millions of dollars are being made off of the illegal sale and distribution of American made movies--not to mention the damaging effect if has on Americas economy when none of that money makes it back to the states. Justify it all you want, ethically it is wrong.
And being the communist government that China is- I would not put it past them to be interested and involved in making money off of creating this ban in the first place. (Comrade Chow says, "There is a shiz load of money to be made in entertainment! But most of the good entertainment comes from the states. If we make it legal to buy and sell American entertainment then money will leave China. Why allow those bastage Americans to make money off our citizens when we can simply "prohibit" the buying and selling of American Entertainment and divert money from going over to America to line the pockets of our Socialistic / Communistic government! Great idea Comrade!"

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