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Pirates Promise Improved Version of DaVinci Code 370

Y'arr, Matey writes "CD Freaks is reporting that pirates are not happy with the quality of the DaVinci Code. According to the article, "A sales assistant at one Shanghai DVD shop said the initial copies were 'pirated overseas' and that 'better quality' versions would probably be available early next month.""
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Pirates Promise Improved Version of DaVinci Code

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:47PM (#15398876)
    That the new version will be 0 minutes long.
    • I concarrr (Score:3, Funny)

      by smvp6459 ( 896580 )
      Arrrr, the post-production value of the film wasn't up to the same quality as other blockbustarrrr book to movie productions; here on the ship we're still parrrrtial to Mastarrrr and Comandarrrr!
    • by glass_window ( 207262 ) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @01:47AM (#15399503)
      Actually they just scanned the book in and put it in a pdf onto DVD.
      • by nwbvt ( 768631 ) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @08:23AM (#15400492)
        I doubt that would help all that much. I've never read the book, but I read two of his other books in a reading group a few years back. Damn, he has to be one of the worst writers ever. Neither plot made any sense, the 'science' in them (both were considered intelligent novels by the critics which you could learn a lot from) was complete bull, the stories were predictible, the characters flat, the dialog worse than anything from the first three Star Wars movies... If the Da Vinci Code (shouldn't it be The Leonardo Code anyways? Da Vinci was neither his name nor his surname...) was only half as bad as either of those I fully understand what pissed off the Catholic Church.

        Sorry for this completely off topic rant, but I just get like this whenever I hear how great Dan Brown novels are (which has been a lot recently).

        • I cannot read. Let me say that my attention span causes me to skim pages, skip words, go back and forth. Because of this, I end up reading with no comprehension if something goes more than a few pages. Character development is difficult for me to follow. Along comes Dan Brown with a writing style that has short chapters, little descriptive notation, etc. He has been criticized for his writing style, but I find it easy to follow. Admittedly, I listened to the 13-CD audio book for Da Vinci Code, but I r
  • News? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:49PM (#15398885)
    Isn't it normal that the first pirated copies aren't top quality? I'm not sure how this is news.
    • Re:News? (Score:4, Informative)

      by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @12:09AM (#15399203) Journal
      Not, it isn't normal that the first pirated copies aren't top quality.

      The guys who do this stuff usually try to get their hands on (pre)release DVD/VHS screeners.

      Failing that, they grab a telecine [wikipedia.org] or an telesync [wikipedia.org] done in an empty theater.

      Cams usually suck because of their bad quality, both audio and visual. Street corner bootleggers (in countries where it's something of a professional business) generally get their VCD/DVDs from a source that is hooked into the topsites [wikipedia.org].

      Cam releases don't count for much in "the scene".
      • Re:News? (Score:3, Informative)

        by mlewan ( 747328 )
        It is normal that the first pirated copies are of bad quality. It is true that cam releases suck, but they sell nevertheless. If the pirates can get their hands on better material, that's fine, but it is by no means a rule that they do. And "they" don't wait for optimal material to release their DVDs. (I'm sure some do wait, but they are not the ones first to the market.)
    • Re:News? (Score:3, Funny)

      by macdaddy357 ( 582412 )
      If the pirates are making lousy copies, maybe you should buy them from ninjas instead.
  • by Schlemphfer ( 556732 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:50PM (#15398889) Homepage
    I hope these "better quality" versions feature an improved script.

  • Content (Score:3, Funny)

    by Arghdee ( 813921 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:50PM (#15398890)
    What, so they're re-filming it, this time with a better story???
    • Re:Content (Score:5, Funny)

      by Gryle ( 933382 ) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @12:52AM (#15399359)
      Not re-filming, but they are digitally editing Tom Hank's hair to make it suitable for public viewing.
    • A lot of a rippers arent all that concerned with quality, just being first to be released. Even with TV shows they still do rush jobs and release rips with out of sync audio etc and therefore you have to wait for the repack.
      • Where are you getting your TV rips? I get almost every show off my college's network within a few hours and they are always high quality. Way better than I get with actually watching the TV. They are also edited really well. I never even see the start of commercials and nothing is ever cut off. The audio is also always synced perfectly.

        I just checked the filenames and I'm getting my rips from xvid, lol and loki. I don't know about other rippers, but for TV, these guys always have HD quality perfect rips.
    • Re:Content (Score:4, Insightful)

      by kubrick ( 27291 ) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @01:36AM (#15399471)
      Ever read Foucault's Pendulum?
      • I'm glad somebody else noticed that. I got about 40 pages into the "Code", then realized that I've already read this story before, only the last time it wasn't written by some Crichton-wanna-be hack. And then of course they had to get Ron Howard to direct...
    • What, so they're re-filming it, this time with a better story???

      No, not the whole thing. They'll just send it to their friends in Bombay, who'll replace the boring bits with musical numbers.
  • Why is this on /. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PhrostyMcByte ( 589271 ) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:50PM (#15398893) Homepage
    People cam/telesync [wikipedia.org]/telecine [wikipedia.org] the movie, and finally a dvd ripped version comes along later. This happens to every movie, why is this news. Even if this was unique to DaVinci Code, this doesn't belong on the front page of /.
    • by hereschenes ( 813329 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @11:40PM (#15399100)
      Huh? Of course everyone knows that every new movie gets pirated. The article is just to highlight the sheer cheek of the so-called "sales assistant", and (perhaps as an aside) how that might unwittingly be an interesting reflection on society's attitude to pirated goods. Really, it's just supposed to be funny. Remember that? Humour? That thing that makes your tummy wobble up and down with mirth?
    • Next week on slashdot: "Drug dealer selling bad cocaine, swears next batch he sells will be better!"
    • It should be possible to merge several cam conversions into one good copy.

      From any one cam, some video fields will be junk taken during a film frame transition. Get enough cams together, and you can get every frame of film.

      If you want high resolution, zoom in. You can patch together a full image from multiple cameras. It's like doing a panorama. See panotools for a great example.

      As is done in astronomy, one can use multiple images of the same thing to reduce image noise. This works for the sound too.

      If you
  • because (Score:4, Funny)

    by NoGuffCheck ( 746638 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:51PM (#15398895)
    because pirates are renowned for the quality control.
    • Re:because (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TubeSteak ( 669689 )
      Ummm... Actually, they usually are.

      The top release groups are very picky about the criteria* [wikipedia.org] they use to evaluate a release that they're going to stick their name on.

      To make sure that nothing gets past their filtering process, they have guys whose sole job it is to Nuke [wikipedia.org] "bad" releases.

      *The wikipedia article only gives you a broad overview. Some release groups are insanely specific about their release and won't accept/distribute anything that doesn't fit within their narrow definition of "good"
    • because pirates are renowned for the quality control.

      There is a huge market for high quality pirated merchandise in countries that can't afford the high prices for authorized copies. In Malaysia you buy pirated copies in shops at the mall like normal, and they offer low ($0.50) and high ($2.00) quality, and even let you preview the copy to make sure it's up to your standards.
      • Re:because (Score:3, Interesting)

        by raju1kabir ( 251972 )

        In Malaysia you buy pirated copies in shops at the mall like normal, and they offer low ($0.50) and high ($2.00) quality, and even let you preview the copy to make sure it's up to your standards.

        Earlier this week the shops in downtown Kuala Lumpur (capital of Malaysia, for those unfamiliar with southeast Asian geography) were shut down by one of those periodic raids, the ones where the cops take all the DVDs they find on the premises and smash 'em up and email some photos to the MPAA. Obviously that's n

    • Well in video games and movies, they have subtitles and their games don't require a cd in the drive.

      And that's discounting the distribution advantages.

      Plus pirates really care about providing the best quality to their consumer... they do it for pride.

      And when HD comes out, guess where most of us will start watching it...
  • by the_skywise ( 189793 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:51PM (#15398898)
    That they're this blatant about their piracy...

    Or that their customer service is better than most "official" DVD publishers.
    • You don't have to go to Shanghai to buy pirated movies, you can pick them up easy enough here in New York City.. three for $10.
    • That they're this blatant about their piracy...

      A friend of mine owns a mastering studio and contracts out large pressings. A few days before the release of the Da Vinci Code, he was contacted by somebody who claimed to have a copy and wanted 10,000 of them pressed as soon as possible.

      Of course, my friend turned him down.

      Judging by TFA, he must have finally found somebody to do it.

    • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @03:51AM (#15399825) Homepage
      True Story.

      A friend of mine was looking for an original copy of Star Wars on DVD for a movie night. After looking around for a long time, he finally found someone selling a custom version of the trilogy. These are mastered from the lazerdisks, and have been remixed to match the originals as closely as possible. The audio had been re-edited with the original effects, title, etc. They also included four disks worth of bonus material collected from the LD's, VHS editions, Re-releases, TV interviews, holiday edition, etc.

      In short, they sold him the definitive box set that Lucas wouldn't*. The customer support was great. The vid and audio quality was excellent. The extras and menus were nicely polished. And of course none of the people who actually produced or worked on the movie got any money at all.

      *Rumor has it that at the end of 2006, Lucas will be selling a box set of the hexagy, that includes the revised revised special editions plus the original versions of the films as they appeared in theaters. This is great, and would be considered the definitive archival set, except that he's also planning a revised revised revised "definitive" edition on blu-ray for 2007. And after that definitive, final, this-is-really-it edition, they're working on a 3D version. Sigh.
  • I mean, how much work does it really take to digitally remaster Tom Hanks' mullett? Granted, it would've been easier in the actual production of the film, but makeup artists are pretty expensive...
  • by spiritraveller ( 641174 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:52PM (#15398902)
    Was hoping it would say they were editing Da Vinci Code to make it more entertaining.
  • by Mr. Freeman ( 933986 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:53PM (#15398907)
    Alright, considering that what they're doing is illegal in the first place I don't think they have any right to complain.

    This is like stealing a car and then complaining to the owner that it doesn't have air conditioning.
  • Well.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:53PM (#15398909)
    If the Pirates aren't happy then the Ninjas must be pissed.
  • by PainBreak ( 794152 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:54PM (#15398915)
    This Slashdot "news item" was formulated overseas, and we anticipate a more newsworthy post within the next month.
  • Why is this here? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Distinguished Hero ( 618385 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:57PM (#15398929) Homepage
    The only way this story would be newsworthy would be if pirates saw the movie, were unhappy with what they saw, and decided to improve it by reshuffling the scenes around (sort of a Pirate's cut).
  • Oh come on people, it's a joke. Just look at the foot.

    I mean, quality control from a piracy organization? Ha ha ha.
  • When? (Score:2, Funny)

    by gaanagaa ( 784648 )
    When did people start "pirating" movies? And they started with DaVinci Code? Are these pirates anti-christian missionaries?
  • I guess this means that global warming should start reversing itself [wikipedia.org]...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    the guy with the camera is not going to sit behind some chick with a Marj Simpson hair do!
  • Will they be digitally adding a parrot on Tom Hanks' shoulder? Perhaps an eyepatch here and there? A peg leg or two (but not on the same actor)? Yarrr! Ye be havin' the holy bloodline!
  • They're going to take out Jar Jar.
  • Even those watching it for free aren't happy with the movie.
  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @11:48PM (#15399126) Journal
    ...but it does illustrate a point about the protection of content and the unauthorized distribution of said content. Look, these "pirates" have a copy - crappy though it may be - shortly after the first screening. And they're, apparently, selling (though no number figures are given for volume).

    What is interesting is that the unauthorized distribution chain is well organized enough that a typical time frame can be placed on the "next" release of the film. It speaks volumes about the actual control content producers have on their material.

    In this day of first weekend hits which fizzle or stay on the charts for such a short time, and the inevitable surfacing of the video in the "pirate" channels - both physical and online - is it really advantageous to the bottom line to spread (a) the theatrical release from the home video release by several months and (b) the theatrical release across continents by several months. In an age of essentially world wide communications and market size, and with the ability to distribute and screen content digitally, why not release the films one weekend, and the home version the following Tuesday? Have a blockbuster you think will have staying power and want to try and get a repeat audience? Delay the DVD 2-3 weeks. Get your hype budget right up front, and make sure the patrons who liked the theatrical screening can pick up their own copy before they forget about it.

    All the laws and controls the studios have bought from the various governing bodies in the world won't stop the people who make a living doing this kind of stuff. And, unlike drugs or arms traffiking, we're not talking about societal crimes and social unrest. It's a God damned entertainment flick. Quit trying to constrain these "pirates" with rules they won't abide - beat them at their own game. Get the real discs into stores and into consumers hands before the "pirates" do. Crappy copies are no fun to watch. And I don't know about you folks, but if you've ever tried to get a movie of any decent quality off of the usenet you know it can be a royal pain. Quite honestly, it's not worth my time to futz with it if I can have Amazon deliver it to my door for $15. And I pay for good usenet access, so my dowloads are easy and fast. Provide the goods and take away their business and reason for being. Sure, you'll still have to deal with the snot-nosed teens who pirate stuff for the thrill, but those folks aren't going to be buyers (by and large). Write them off.

    FWIW, I have unauthorized copies of Star Wars (IV), The Little Mermaid, and (on VHS) Song of the South. I have since purchased Ep. IV, though it had been out for a while (heck, I already "bought" a copy, right?). TLM is "in the vault". I couldn't purchase one from Disney if I wanted to, so some Malaysian pirate got my $20 - I'm claiming fair use since I own the VHS (with the phallic cover, no less). SotS will "never be released", though having watched it I can't quite figure out why. The NAACP has nothing to worry about in the portrayal of of the slaves, but caucasians should be appalled at the portrayal of the plantation owners in the film.

    IMHO, the movie cartel actually keeps these shady shops in business. That's what the story really is.

  • It must be a Vatican conspiracy! They obviously hired the templars thru secret rites so the Davinci code steganographed in the movie wouldn't be available to the public! The secret must be preserved!!! HACK THE PLANET!!!
  • New version (Score:5, Funny)

    by OldManAndTheC++ ( 723450 ) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @12:38AM (#15399311)

    Using (pirated) PC-based video editing software, enterprising movies pirates have issued a new, improved version of the Da Vinci code. A plot summary follows:

    Middle-aged Harvard professor Robert Langdon is giving a lecture in Paris when he is confronted by a police detective, who shows him a picture of a man who has been murdered in a gruesome fashion. Langdon, who has been living in an airport terminal [imdb.com], takes off in search of the holy grail, which has been stolen by a young Leo di Caprio [imdb.com]. A gratuitous time warp takes him back to WWII to save Matt Damon from being killed by Nazis [imdb.com]. Returning to the present, a slingshot around the moon [imdb.com] reveals his presence to vengeful mobsters [imdb.com], who are unimpressed by his skill at ping-pong and shrimping [imdb.com]. Escaping from them via Fed-Ex cargo plane [imdb.com] only leads him to a close encounter with a volcano and a young Meg Ryan [imdb.com], with whom he has a cheesy and banal romance that only a woman could appreciate [imdb.com]. With a newfound attitude towards the fairer sex he agrees to coach a group of weepy baseball players [imdb.com], but mysteriously, without even sleeping with any of them, he contracts AIDS and dies [imdb.com]. But that doesn't stop our hero. He returns from the dead [imdb.com], bangs a mermaid [imdb.com], and brings joy to millions of kids [imdb.com] before returning back to Paris where he started, which makes you wonder why the hell he left in the first place.

  • Pirates re-cut DaVinci Code on ship to be more appealing to the masses. Aaaarrgh!
  • After seeing Dan Brown's foray into crypto (Digital Fortress) I wonder if that Sicilian capo with the cipher "you'd use to keep out your little sister" couldn't improve his codes...

    I think the most inane thing, in a very inane book, was when the world-renowned linguist/prodigy who spoke umpteen dialects and was consulted by the NSA for his Chinese expertise couldn't tell the difference between Chinese and Japanese in less than thirty minutes. Oh, but it gets better (at least, if you have any clue about eit
  • ... that a Chinese black-marketeer is blaming outsourcing for his quality woes?
  • Here in Beijing, there are CD/DVD shops pretty much on every block, and in none of then can you find "legal" products, at least not for non-Chinese stuff. In any place with lots of pedestrian traffic, you'll find "street merchants" with boxes full of DVDs. Stores that carry "legal" imported DVDs are quite hard to find, if you really want them.

    Movies that are showing in the theatres will usually be in the stores a few days *earlier* than in the theatre; most often, they won't show in the theatres at all.
  • by DumbSwede ( 521261 ) <slashdotbin@hotmail.com> on Thursday May 25, 2006 @02:01AM (#15399538) Homepage Journal
    Having just gotten back from China I can tell you that ANYTHING you want on DVD is available for a BUCK. High Quality packaging and everything with FBI warnings and disclaimers in place. They use to just make VCDs that everyone had players for, then they went to DVD-5 and compressed the quality of some movies a bit. Now they rip full DVD-9 and market it as DVD-9 or HDVD. The "Broke Back Mountain" rip I saw (my wife made me watch it with her, BTW BORING!) had the "For Academy Viewing Only" disclaimer scroll across the screen about 3 times, but he quality was great. In Guangzhou lot of people have 50+ inch plasma Hi-Def TVs. I'm sure they will pirate Blu-Ray when it comes out. I saw lots of PSPs in use while I was there.

    I was sorely tempted to snap up DVDs for bootlegging before coming back home but resisted.

    I'm not sure I have much of a point other than piracy is here to stay in China. Copy-protection won't matter one wit because it is done by professionals with the equipment to do it right, and it is so firmly a part of the society I don't know anyway you could stop it if you really tried. I for one like the fact that if things become too draconian here stateside I always have a source that can hook me up in the East.
    • Having just gotten back from China I can tell you that ANYTHING you want on DVD is available for a BUCK.

      Yes, that goes for DVD recordables too.

      Seriously, what makes China that different? Piracy is rampant pretty much everywhere. It's just that pirated material is sold there. Good for those who're lazy enough, but I can't say it's hard to let a computer stay on over the night and spend a few minutes burning your own high quality pre-release DVD.

      In Guangzhou lot of people have 50+ inch plasma Hi-Def TVs.

    • "Copy-protection won't matter one wit because it is done by professionals with the equipment to do it right, and it is so firmly a part of the society I don't know anyway you could stop it if you really tried."

      I am not Chinese. But you made a wild unsubstantiated statement.

      Developing economies like India and China has official versions of audio-visual content priced very high. Last I checked an official DVD of a typical Hollywood film goes for USD8 and above in both the countries. This is equivalent t
  • davinci code (Score:3, Interesting)

    by achacha ( 139424 ) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @03:09AM (#15399687) Homepage
    It wasn't even a good movie, couldn't they at least wait for X-Men 3.

    This does bring up an interesting point, RIAA and MPAA are so busy suing average folk in the US that they don't really make any serious efforts against the huge pirates in China. Chinese pirates will continue to go about ripping off movies and software because the Chinese government would rather side with its people than some evil foreign capitalist organization.

  • Why the fuck? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by d_jedi ( 773213 ) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @03:32AM (#15399761)
    Why the fuck is slashdot giving these scumsucking leeches who illegally profit off the hard work of others recognition?

    This sort of shit really pisses me off.. why the fuck did China gain admittance into the WTO with this appalling shit going on? They're not even hiding the fact that this is going on..

    Sorry for the profanity, but this really makes me angry..
  • am i the only one... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by smash ( 1351 ) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @05:03AM (#15400008) Homepage Journal
    ... who initially parsed this as the idea that the pirates were going to edit the footage and get rid of some of the long-windedness?

    I've read all the dan brown books, but from what I've heard of the movie, it's quite tedious.


"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas