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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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