Chinese Turn to Pirated DVDs After BitTorrent Closures

Proves real problem is the lack of affordable and convenient content delivery services.

Last week I mentioned how China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) closed some 530 BitTorrent tracker sites in order to address the country’s “copyright problem.”

“”In recent years, some websites publicly spread a large number of pirated films, TV dramas and other programs,” said an unnamed SARFT official afterwards. “Some of these programs contain lewd content. Such behaviors severely harmed young people’s health and copyright owners’ interests.”

He added that it wouldn’t solve the problem entirely and that it would be a “long-term task” to ensure they comply with the country’s copyright laws.

However, the move may actually backfire as citizens merely turn to pirated DVDs, long a Chinese staple, to watch content at a cheaper price and potentially put money in the hands of criminal elements who dominate the illegal trade.

For instead of content be shared for free it’s being bought and sold.

“When they buy DVDs from me, almost everyone talks about being worried that the free movie downloads would disappear,” one bootleg DVD vendor told China Daily.

The crackdown does nothing to solve the real dilemma which is offering consumers legal, convenient content delivery services at a reasonable price, and copyright holders would be better served by focusing their resources on solving that instead.

It’s also worth mentioning the crackdown appears to be part of a larger effort to whitewash the Internet.

A few days ago the Chinese govt even decided to ban individuals from registering personal Internet domain names. According to the China Internet Network Information Center from now on individuals must present a business seal, company business license, and photo ID.

Stay tuned.

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