Print 15 comment(s) - last by mindless1.. on May 11 at 9:22 PM

WB says the goal is to combat movie piracy by offering high quality downloads, for a price

Movie piracy is a rampant problem, particularly in the Asia Pacific regions of China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.  To combat piracy one country at a time, Warner Bros. said this week that it will launch a new movie download service in Hong Kong.

Dubbed 08Media, the service will be offered by ViDeOnline Communications.  Movies such as the Harry Potter franchise and Superman Returns will be available for Hong Kong viewers immediately. Warner Bros. said that 100 titles initially via the new service will deter consumers from paying for bootleg movies.  Additional titles may also hit 08Media the day of the theatrical release.

Walking the streets of Shanghai, it's quickly apparent that pirated movies is big business. Small boutique stores and street vendors sell movies on DVD-R discs. Hollywood studios have long complained that this type of piracy causes billions of dollars in lost revenue. In one attempt to thwart piracy, movies have attempted to world-launch movies.  Spiderman 3, for example, was well publicized for its release in Beijing several weeks before the official theatrical release in the North America.

"This deal fits perfectly with our philosophy of providing consumers around the world with access to our world-class entertainment," said president of Warner Bros. Jeffrey Schlesinger. As of now, no prices have been announced for movies on 08Media.

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UM lets give the pirates what they want
By rdeegvainl on 5/10/2007 8:59:28 AM , Rating: 2
Now the pirates just get that digital copy and sell copies of that. HMMMM seems like it wasn't thought through. Unless they have some secret encryption that can't be cracked. and i highly doubt that. just give some kid a month supply of caffiene and pizza, and bye bye secure movies. I think it is just another scheme to get people to say that other countries need tighter laws on piracy, cause they "TRIED" to make things easier to access and whatnot and they just took advantage of it.

By jtesoro on 5/10/2007 10:46:47 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think this is a scheme to tighten laws, as the laws are probably tight already. They're just not being enforced well enough (if at all).

This is another effort for the studios/publishers to make money in heavy-piracy areas. Nothing wrong with that though.

By tungtung on 5/10/2007 11:38:51 AM , Rating: 2
That's just what I was thinking ... what the hell is wrong with these execs. I mean just two days ago they announced that they will stop ALL preview in Canada due to what they called a "rampant" bootlegging and "non-existent" copyright law.

Now they're planning to make digital copies of their movies available? I mean even if they put passwords and IP blockings and what have you, it will only protect those data for so long before hackers actually crack the security and start putting these movies up for free download for the rest of the internet world.

RE: UM lets give the pirates what they want
By jskirwin on 5/10/2007 8:59:31 PM , Rating: 2
just give some kid a month supply of caffiene and pizza, and bye bye secure movies.

The best hackers in China work in the military. China takes cyberspace seriously and controls it accordingly. Therefore nothing happens there without the military knowing about it. Note that I didn't say "government" because the Chinese military is an entity in itself.

When you think about Chinese hackers, think highly trained and equipped military forces similar to the techs in the US military but given more power, resources, and less legal restraint. These aren't the hackers you find at a DEFCON or who live in their parent's basement. These guys are serious bad@sses.

If you recall in March 2001 a US spy plane was forced down in China. In retaliation the Chinese hackers took out hundreds of US gov sites and servers. Thousands more are rumored to have been pwned in the private sector. And that was 6 years ago.

So in short, this is stupid; the protection was probably cracked before it hit beta. But given Hollywood's love of all things socialist, I think it serves them right to get their butts handed to them in a Chinese takeout box.

By carage on 5/10/2007 11:33:12 PM , Rating: 2
There is another thing that is special about the Chinese military.
They are allowed to run businesses, as the military is supposed to be partially self-sustaining.
Unfortunately, a relative of mine has had first hand experience with such military enterprises getting a cut of the lucrative piracy business. He claims to have witnessed soldiers packaging pirated discs inside barracks.
Of course, with just one example we are unable to determine whether this is a widespread practice (of the military running pirated products) or whether this is just a stand-alone case with a few corrupt officers in an isolated army base.

By pixelslave on 5/11/2007 2:29:49 PM , Rating: 2
I am going to say it here first, making it a prior art if someone else come up with the idea later :-D

They should just encrypt the movie, BT it and let people distribute the BT file all they want. Whenever someone download a movie, then subsequently "unlock" it by purchasing it thru WB, the host that distributes the BT file will get a commission. Even better, they should work with BT's creator to add a feature so that they can track who has helped seeding the BT file and compensate the seeders proportionally as well.

By paying the BT file hosts and the seeders, they can eliminate a large portion of people who seed the pirated version -- when there's monetary rewards, those people would want to host the official version.

By mindless1 on 5/11/2007 9:22:15 PM , Rating: 2
You seem to be overlooking that if the price difference isn't much, most people would get the movie from the source instead of the pirate. If piracy profits are reduced enough it can't be worthwhile. That is, unless the direct d/l quality was degraded intentionally.

By BigLan on 5/10/2007 9:47:58 AM , Rating: 2
What does the streets of shanghai have to do with a Hong Kong video service? I know that both cities are technically part of China, but HK is it's own semi-autonomous region, and in my experience is much better about curbing piracy than any of the mainland cities. I'd say HK was about equivalent to New York when it comes to finding bootlegs. They're available, but you have to know where to look. A lot of the chinese cities are the other way - you practically can't go anywhere without being offered a dvd by a street vendor.

Also, most of the dvds I've bought in Shanghai (and other mainland cities) have been pressed silvers, not dvdrs. Even the cam version of films have been on silvers. Maybe that's changed in the last few months though.

RE: Erm....
By darkpaw on 5/10/2007 11:46:22 AM , Rating: 2
What does the streets of shanghai have to do with a Hong Kong video service?

That was actually my first thought when reading that sentance too.

RE: Erm....
By carage on 5/10/2007 11:46:04 PM , Rating: 2
While piracy in Hong Kong is definitely not as rampant as in Shanghai, it is still not as discreet as say New York.
You just need to know where to look.
Next time you go to Hong Kong hop on the sub system and go to Xin Jie (New Territory) or Luo Hu.
You'll know what I mean.

Silly question...
By Rotkiv on 5/10/2007 11:11:14 AM , Rating: 2
What are pressed silvers?

RE: Silly question...
By killerroach on 5/10/2007 11:49:26 AM , Rating: 2
Pressed silvers are production discs, they differ in mastering process from a DVD-R.

RE: Silly question...
By Larrymon2000 on 5/10/2007 7:08:21 PM , Rating: 2
It was a good question; I'm sure many of us (including me) didn't know that. Well, I had a general idea.

I don't live in Hong Kong...
By Min Jia on 5/10/2007 11:21:56 PM , Rating: 2
and I don't give a crap.

RE: I don't live in Hong Kong...
By Min Jia on 5/10/2007 11:23:23 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I do live in Hong Kong. It was a typo.

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