Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

China Seizes 13 Million Pirated Discs 197

Posted by kdawson
from the everything's-bigger-in-china dept.
TechFreep writes "The Chinese government is waging a 100-day battle against software and media piracy, the largest such effort ever conducted. After launching the effort on July 15, Chinese police and copyright officials have raided 537,000 illegal publication markets and distributors in major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Liaoning Province. Of these, government officials have closed down 8,907 shops and street vendors, 481 publishing companies and 942 illegal websites." This article in China Daily quotes vendors of legal media products gushing over their increased sales.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

China Seizes 13 Million Pirated Discs

Comments Filter:
  • um, that seems high (Score:5, Interesting)

    by svunt (916464) on Monday September 18, 2006 @02:42PM (#16132184) Homepage Journal
    537,000 illegalmarkets and distributors? I know there are a lot of people in China, but damn, can that possibly be right? If they bust everyone, the US could lose its coveted "most behind bars" status.
    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOspAM.gmail.com> on Monday September 18, 2006 @02:53PM (#16132303) Journal
      Oh, don't forget this article [slashdot.org] that states they were going to send out one million spam warnings to spammers. One million spammers? Here in the United States, it seems to be 9 or 10 parties that create 99% of the spam. Why is it so different in China? Is one in every thousand Chinese citizens a spammer?

      Perhaps this is just another law that China will use to silence people (like I mentioned here [slashdot.org])?

      Speak out against the government and have your apartment ransacked for pirated DVDs. They find them everytime and you don't have to worry about a trial -- you were ready to distribute them! Makes the government look good and invites companies to come to China. Win-win situation for the government!
      • by Qzukk (229616)
        Speak out against the government and have your apartment ransacked for pirated DVDs. They find them everytime and you don't have to worry about a trial -- you were ready to distribute them! Makes the government look good and invites companies to come to China. Win-win situation for the government!

        Hell, consider the numbers. 550 thousand distributors, 13 million discs. That makes each bootlegger selling what, 25 discs?

        Sounds more like they raided everyone and just picked up the ones that were making troubl
      • Is one in every thousand Chinese citizens a spammer?

        I could easily believe that there are a million comprimised machines that are being used as spam relays. If they actually knew where the person who was running the spam network lived, they would get raided, not an email.
    • by goombah99 (560566) on Monday September 18, 2006 @03:05PM (#16132453)
      Ebay, announces the cancelation of 537,000 auctions for "genuine" dvds by the seller for "item no longer available"
    • Just got back 2 weeks ago from shanghai and i purchased a couple movies while i was there to watch on my laptop. They are legit from a quality standpoint. They even have stuff there before here. The new Talladaga nights movie was on the shelf for sale over there 2 weeks ago. And yes in just the limited area i was in, I saw at least 50 or 60 different places selling dvd's
    • by Raskolnk (26414)
      >> I know there are a lot of people in China, but damn, can that possibly be right?

      Yes, you'll know if you've ever been to China. As long as there are that many street corners there are that many distributors.
    • by Eskarel (565631)
      For those of you who have never been to Asia, piracy in Asia isn't like it is in the western world. People don't go download things, they buy it at a street market. The same markets which will sell counterfeit handbags, sunglasses, and watches will sell you counterfeit DVD's(I'd argue that they are indeed counterfeit as they are packaged in a way to make them look identical to the real thing, they aren't just burnt CD's in a drawer.

      As these markets certainly exist in every single tourist centre, and probabl

    • by gauauu (649169)
      I believe it. After living in Shenzhen, China, for 2 years, I saw the truth. There's an illegal cd salesman on almost every street corner. And many small shops (clothes, etc) also have a room in the back where they sell bootleg cds. The best are electronics bizarres. It's a whole building, similar to a flea market, with lots of little stalls selling wares. Most of these stalls will also sell you illegal dvds.

      I don't think 500,000 seems big at all.....
  • 537,000 down... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 192939495969798999 (58312) <info@devinmoo r e . c om> on Monday September 18, 2006 @02:42PM (#16132191) Homepage Journal
    only 90 bazillion more to go! That picture from TFA is wild, though (mountain of CDs being crushed by steamrollers). That looks like some kinda explosion at a CD store.
    • by Yvan256 (722131)
      That picture from TFA is wild, though.
      Wow, they finally figured out how to put pictures in intertube news?

      For those who don't get it, check the last few dozen linked articles... 90% of them are pure text (sometimes spread over a few pages to increase ad revenues).
      • by Yvan256 (722131)
        ... and what's with websites that have underline text for mouse-overs on regular text?!?
        • That's that Intellitxt [scumware.com] inline spamming JavaScript crap. It basically scans the content of a page and turns certain keywords into anchors hooked into a style sheet that pops up the ads when you mouse over it.
          • by Yvan256 (722131)
            Nope, I'm talking about full paragraphs (basically, all the text on the page) having a mouse-over underline but without any link to the text itself.
  • by 1010110010 (1002553) on Monday September 18, 2006 @02:43PM (#16132203)
    Where else are we going to see blurbs like this [boingboing.net] on DVD covers?
  • /.edness protection (Score:5, Informative)

    by Toasty16 (586358) on Monday September 18, 2006 @02:45PM (#16132215) Homepage
    full text:

    The Chinese government is waging a 100-day battle against software and media piracy, the largest such effort ever conducted.

    After launching the effort on July 15, Chinese police and copyright officials have raided 537,000 illegal publication markets and distributors in major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Liaoning Province. Of these, government officials have closed down 8,907 shops and street vendors, 481 publishing companies and 942 illegal websites.

    Two of the largest pirated media operations in Liaoning Province, one located near Shenyang's Sanhao Street, the other in the Science and Technology Park of Liaoning University, were among those targeted.

    These two centres provided over 90 per cent of all pirated compact disks to the city residents, said Wang Hongyu, head of Shenyang Anti-Pirated Enforcement Team. But now you can hardly find any pirated products there.

    The crack down was initiated by more than 10 ministries and national departments, including the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Security, the State Administration of Press and Publication, and the National Copyright Administration. Each of the 13 million illegal CDs and DVDs that were seized up to this point in the raids were destroyed on September 16th.
  • Keep going... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MikeRT (947531) on Monday September 18, 2006 @02:46PM (#16132232) Homepage
    It is suicidal for America to not tie very strong IP enforcement to its trade agreements with countries like China. Most of what we produce domestically is IP from music to code to drug designs. We are at an inherent disadvantage then, if we allow them to dump tens of billions of dollars of cheap crap in our stores, but allow their locals to run wild with our IP.

    I don't like it, but that's just the way it is.

    If you want to reduce our dependency on IP and strong foreign IP laws, go start a manufacturing business that produces in America at rates that can replace China and Taiwan.

    Until then, I am glad to see China stepping things up, as it means we aren't getting shafted so badly anymore.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by syntaxglitch (889367)
      Yes, but how much paying for American IP can China really support? I can't imagine that most users of pirated software over there could afford to pay full price for a legit license. Eliminating a lot of piracy seems like it would either wreak havoc on China (they won't push it that far, I'm sure) or, to take the typical /. angle, drive people towards other alternatives like open source (or perhaps local IP industries?).

      More likely I think is that it's mostly a loud show of effort and piracy in China will
      • I sure hope so. I love cheap chinese products. My garage is stocked with all sorts of tools that would have bankrupted me if I had to spring for even the Craftsman versions at sears. Especially the specialty automotive tools that I've only needed to use once or twice. I never would have bought them, except they were like $10-$15 at Harbor Freight.

        I think American IP laws are ridiculously imbalanced. If American companies can't come up with a better business plan than "rip off the consumers", they deser
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by YrWrstNtmr (564987)
          except they were like $10-$15 at Harbor Freight.

          You gotta watch some of that Harbor Freight stuff. I bought a mini-lathe there a couple of years ago. Let's just say plastic threads don't work very well.
          Cheap is one thing, but cheap and useless is just a waste of money. I'd rather spend $300, and have it actually work, than spend $30, and it's useless.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by stubear (130454)
          "I think American IP laws are ridiculously imbalanced. If American companies can't come up with a better business plan than "rip off the consumers", they deserve to be beaten down."

          Please tell us what that better business plan is? Why should a company direct resources toward research and development only to have another company come along and cheaply manufacture the exact same thing without having to worry about recouping the R&D? If the company that developed the product competed on cost they woudl t
          • by Grishnakh (216268)
            That's just the way it should be. If consumers are so cheap that they'll buy cheap rip-offs instead of the quality products, and this puts the innovative companies out of business, then so be it. We'll all just suffer with less innovation then.

            These laws are trying to fight against human nature, which is just a bad idea and futile. If the People are going to do things which cause the economy to collapse, let them!
          • Let's see. Please tell me a better business plan than outlawing automobiles so that horse and buggy drivers won't be out of a job. Progress happens, and outdated business models cannot always compete in the future.

            There are existing laws that provide the kind of protection you describe. I don't have issue with those. In fact, I think its great that the Chinese government is going after the mass bootleggers who are in fact ripping off the media industry by doing exactly what you say.

            What I disagree with
    • Re:Keep going... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fuzznutz (789413) on Monday September 18, 2006 @03:05PM (#16132452)
      If you want to reduce our dependency on IP and strong foreign IP laws, go start a manufacturing business that produces in America at rates that can replace China and Taiwan.
      No problem. Can I sign you up to work for me for $3.00 a day?
    • Re:Keep going... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Monday September 18, 2006 @03:07PM (#16132477)
      If you want to reduce our dependency on IP and strong foreign IP laws, go start a manufacturing business...

      What America needs is an IP-manufacturing based economy, not a IP-distribution based economy.

      We need to start selling the service of creating IP directly instead of indirectly funding it by charging for distribution. Since distribution is essentially free, thanks to the net, and it's clearly impossible to compete with free, then we need a new system. Not legal protectionism that conflicts with one of the most key elements of human nature -- the desire to share knowledge.
      • by s20451 (410424)
        Not legal protectionism that conflicts with one of the most key elements of human nature -- the desire to share knowledge.

        In what way does the copyright on a book prevent you from going to the library and learning all you want for free?
        • That's all fine and dandy for books. And probably records, tapes and CDs, too.

          You've touched on what the fine folks in the media biz refer to as the "analog hole". Information carrying devices such as paper books cannot easily be encrypted to enforce copyright, because printing a book of cyphertext would render it useless to the purchaser. The only hope for "protecting" analog content from ...uh... "pirates", libraries, and consumers (oh my!), is the Broadcast Flag that has so far failed to pass Congress
          • by s20451 (410424)
            In my original post, I was using an example to illustrate that intellectual property protection does very little to interfere with the free exchange of knowledge. I was making no point at all with respect to the free exchange of content, which is not the same thing. I was trying to say that you can still gain as much knowledge from information protected by intellectual property as you can with information in the public domain, because the publisher's business model is based on the fact that s/he has knowl
            • The DRM currently being Beta Tested on consumers already restricts the "spread of knowledge". In fact the whole purpose of current DRM efforts is precisely to restrict if and how a user may access the content. And if you can't get at the content, you can't gain the knowledge. None of the DRM efforts are attempting to stop the massive bootleg CD and DVD industry, which doesn't even bother with the protected digital files to begin with... they simply dupe discs. Its all geared towards consumer inconvenien
    • by russ1337 (938915)

      t is suicidal for America to not tie very strong IP enforcement to its trade agreements with countries like China. Most of what we produce domestically is IP from music to code to drug designs. We are at an inherent disadvantage then, if we allow them to dump tens of billions of dollars of cheap crap in our stores, but allow their locals to run wild with our IP.

      You are right, you cant 'depend' on IP. China is really just going through its 'modern industrial age' and sure, right now its making more - cheap

      • It boils down to the fact that living in america is currently more desirable so the cost of living here is being bid up.

        It does not cost $750,000 to buy a middle class house in China. $50,000 annual salary is not considered poverty wages like it is in new york.

        They are a few decades behind us in terms of inflation (at one point it would have been a hundred years but things are flattening quickly).

        Very quickly- the rich are going to be the only people with houses in the safe areas with good weather. Just s
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Astro Dr Dave (787433)

      It is suicidal for America to not tie very strong IP enforcement to its trade agreements with countries like China. Most of what we produce domestically is IP [...]

      ...which just goes to show you that our economy is based on a house of cards. Seriously - an IP economy is inherently unstable, because it depends on the cooperation of everyone else (never mind that it also works better in a police state). So we strong-arm other nations to get their cooperation, but countries and people don't like having law

    • by Znork (31774)
      "go start a manufacturing business that produces in America"

      The indirect taxation effects of US IP legislation on American workers is part of why it's too expensive to produce in the US.

      "as it means we aren't getting shafted so badly anymore."

      Actually, it just means the Chinese will get shafted as badly as Americans. The economic impact of intellectual property is comparable to communist-era state factories; one protected business form has just been replaced with another, both are more or less equivalent dr
      • by s20451 (410424)
        The economic impact of intellectual property is comparable to communist-era state factories; one protected business form has just been replaced with another, both are more or less equivalent drains of inefficiency on the economy as a whole.

        Do you have data to back up that rather sweeping statement? A more supportable view would be that the USA has both some of the world's strongest IP protections and one of the world's highest rates of investment in research, which is probably no coincidence.
    • Book burnings are never a good sign. This is a deal between thieves and is hollow throughout. From the Article:

      "If piracy can be controlled and more customers purchase our copyrighted products, we can provide more of these products for cheaper prices in return in the future," said Feng Hongtao, manager of Dongke Audio and Video Chain Store.

      Translation: If you let us own your culture, despite all previous behavior and evidence to the contrary, we promise to be nice and sell it to you cheap.

      You:

      It i

    • by plague3106 (71849)
      If you want to reduce our dependency on IP and strong foreign IP laws, go start a manufacturing business that produces in America at rates that can replace China and Taiwan.

      Of course that is impossible, since America has strict labor rights laws, whereas China does not. The only way to compete 'fairly' would be to setup a tarrif on imports which makes up for this gap as long as China does not have similar worker's rights laws.
    • by MrNougat (927651)
      The problems with piracy in China are not only with software and media. From what I've heard, you can buy a fake anything there. Books, golf clubs, watches - anything. This seems like an action designed to get China into the better graces of the West without really addressing the issue.
  • 100 0 (Score:3, Funny)

    by webrunner (108849) on Monday September 18, 2006 @02:48PM (#16132249) Homepage Journal
    100day vs 0day

    Hmm, at least numbers are on their side.
  • So after shutting down those 8,907 shops and street vendors, 481 publishing companies and 942 illegal websites, what are the remaining 526,670 all about? Are they counting individual disks?
  • With Vista coming out and the Chinese having to actually purchase software can we expect revenue to grow again? [google.com]
  • by c0d3h4x0r (604141) on Monday September 18, 2006 @02:55PM (#16132328) Homepage Journal
    I hate it when the media misuse the word "pirate". You'd think Slashdot could at least get it right.

    Illegal copies sold at retail are counterfit copies, not "pirated copies".

    Piracy is when you copy content yourself for free. With piracy, no one profits off someone else's hard work.

    Counterfitting is when someone runs illegal copies and then sells the copies for their own profit.

    It's a subtle difference, but an important one.
    • nah (Score:4, Informative)

      by Cybert4 (994278) * on Monday September 18, 2006 @03:06PM (#16132465)
      Counterfitting is passing it off as genuine. If the customers knows it is copied and still buys it--that's just for-profit piracy.
    • by O'Laochdha (962474) on Monday September 18, 2006 @03:07PM (#16132481) Journal
      No, piracy is the misappropriation of a sea vessel with or without intent to return. Copying without profit is intellectual property infringement.
      • by McDutchie (151611)

        No, piracy is the misappropriation of a sea vessel with or without intent to return. Copying without profit is intellectual property infringement.

        That's just as wrong, but more subtly so, and therefore more damaging. There is no such thing as "intellectual property infringement" because the term "intellectual property" is newspeak made up by the publishing industry in attempt to muddy the distinction between patents, copyright, and property. The proper term for the misdemeanor in question is copyright inf

      • by westlake (615356)
        piracy is the misappropriation of a sea vessel with or without intent to return

        Copyright infringement was being defined as piracy while the Black Flag still flew over the Carribean. Electronic Piracy FAQ [sfwa.org]

        The usage is now deeply entrenched and in common usage. The Geek is not going to win this war of words.

      • by MP3Chuck (652277)
        Please. Do you "correct" people why they say they're gay, too? Tell them that "gay" means "happy" not "homosexual?" I tend to cringe when people say "languages evolve, deal with it" but this ["piracy"] really is one of those cases...
    • by kabocox (199019)
      Piracy is when you copy content yourself for free. With piracy, no one profits off someone else's hard work.
      Counterfitting is when someone runs illegal copies and then sells the copies for their own profit.


      Dude, I've never heard of counterfit used in the manner you believe. I have seen in many places for piracy and pirated copies being used in that manner. I've always been told that Piracy is copying media and then selling it. Copying content and not selling it isn't piracy. It may be copyright infringement
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by bdonalds (989355)
      I don't like to be pedantic, but if you can't even spell it, it takes the edge off of your lecture about it's definition. (It's "counterfeit", BTW)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by value_added (719364)
      Counterfitting is when someone runs illegal copies and then sells the copies for their own profit. It's a subtle difference, but an important one.

      Err ... that's counterfeiting.

      Subtle difference, but an important one.
    • by westlake (615356)
      With piracy, no one profits off someone else's hard work.

      There is always "profit" even if it is only the ego-boost the pirate gets in posting his latest rip to the P2P nets.

      The profit-motive as a requirement for criminal prosecution of copyright infrigemrnt disappeared from American law with the signing of the NET Act (No Electronic Theft) ca 1998.

  • What about the NYC subway? That's where I... um, that's where I see a lot of people buying screeners.
  • Pirating for money is a far different thing than copying for free. That includes Pirate Bay, as they seem to have ads on their site. I have a real problem with people copying music/games/etc and selling it. If they choose to put it up for free--I have a lot less of a problem with that.
  • Very old news (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ! (169862)
    Looks to me like TechFreep doesn't deserve to be slashdotted.
    The article they are referring [chinadaily.com.cn] to was last updated on 2006-02-06! Which also means TechFreep edited the story considerably to add mention of recent dates. They even used the same Febuary photo.
    Therefore I would not be trusting any information from this source.
  • Only on SlashDot: "China Daily"=reliable source. Notice the "*.cn" extension; if you buy the crackdown, I know a rich, recently widowed friend in the Congo who needs your help. (Also, any time you see a "100-day" anything, that's a clear sign that it's pure PR.)
  • Only 987.000.000 to go!

  • "...government officials have closed down 8,907 shops and street vendors, 481 publishing companies and 942 illegal websites."

    Sure they closed them now, but in a few days they will be back at their old tricks, albiet under new management. I bet you my entire collection of bootleg anime that a well placed bribe or the guaranteed employment of some politician's or magnate's mongoloid cousin will earn these pirates a clean bill of health from said "government officials."

    Remember that this is a nation that won'
  • .. versions and on to upgrade all the shops to the latest version of pirated software ;)

  • Does this mean that my chinese source for windows XP might go from $10 USD to $15 USD?
  • So that's what happened to the 12,999,999 copies of Gigli for HD-DVD!
  • In unrelated news, Chinese P2P traffic and writable CD/DVD sales both sky-rocket.
  • ...and about an hour later you find yourself hungry for more pirated material.

    Sera

  • An American manufacturer copied the design of a loom from an English company and started producing wool. Others stole the design and pretty soon the American wool industry was booming. Why? Was American wool that much better? Could we produce more wool?

    No on both counts. We did it cheaper and had a domestic market that couldn't afford anything but US made wool. What was exported was STILL cheaper than English wool. British wool was driven into a niche of "high quality" while Americans got rich on low-cost
  • Discount (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pr0nbot (313417) on Monday September 18, 2006 @05:59PM (#16134020)
    Sweet! I guess this means that software will become much cheaper because the corporations won't be losing money in lost sales due to piracy!

    Right?
  • Should be shut down.
  • Today being International Talk Like A Pirate Day [wikipedia.org], ya bunch o' scallywags.

  • for all the poor chaps that didn't pay up and got busted. I guess it helps if you know someone working for the police.
  • I would hate to be doing anything tolerated but illegal in 2007. They are going to be cracking down on anything that might make them look bad in 2008. Just wait for 2009 and everything will be back to normal.
  • Sounds familiar (Score:2, Informative)

    by Tothalvadi (1003751)
    Stuff like this always makes me think of Pantip Plaza in Bangkok. It's a fairly large mall where they sell almost nothing else besides hardware and pirated software.

    Once in a while the police will raid the place to show that they're cracking down on the illegal software business. They will keep an eye on the place for a couple of weeks and after that just give up. After that, the vendors will just take up their usual spots again and it will be business as usual. It seems like this cycle just goes on every

Work expands to fill the time available. -- Cyril Northcote Parkinson, "The Economist", 1955

Working...