Warner slashes DVD prices to fight piracy in China

Written by Wil Harris

April 24, 2006 | 13:27

Tags: #bootleg #dvd #film #movie #piracy #price-cut #slash

Companies: #china #warner-bros

Warner Bros, the film company, is to reduce its DVD prices to try and combat piracy.

That's the good news. The bad news is that only the Chinese are lucky enough to benefit from Warner's benevolence - Western customers can expect to keep paying full whack.

Warner said that it expects to price some of its new titles at $1.50 in China, a price cut down from around $4. This puts the films at the same price, roughly, as pirated copies, which generally go for $1-2.

In China, an average wage can be as little as $1 per day, meaning that a price cut of this magnitude is quite substantial.

Western companies are trying all sorts of tactics at the moment to try and get Chinese dwellers to buy into the Western economy. Last week, Google's Eric Schmidt said that censoring the internet for the benefit of the Chinese government was absolutely the right thing to do.

Unfortunately, those who already buy into the film industry in the West will most likely not see any type of price cut any time soon. Piracy in the East is seen as an economic problem that can be fixed by market forces. Piracy in the West is portrayed as a moral problem that can be fixed by making sure people think what they're doing is 'wrong' - and by suing the heck out of anyone that dares to disagree. Suing Chinese people for thousands of dollars of copyright infringement is absolutely meaningless.

Annoyed at the bully-boy tactics of the film industry? Hopeful that a success in China could mean cheaper DVDs over here, or ever-sceptical about the greed of the content industries? Tell us over in the forums.
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