If You Can't Beat Them... Almost Join Them; Warner Offers Cheap Movie Downloads In China

from the but-nowhere-else-of-course dept

Well, at the very least, you have to hand it to Warner Bros. Studios for recognizing that pretending that it didn't have to somehow compete with pirated movies wasn't going to succeed as an overall strategy. The major Hollywood studio has now unveiled plans to offer a variety of movies for download in China priced at a dollar or less. Of course, it's unclear if the movies will have annoying DRM or any other inconvenience as well. Considering that unauthorized movies are already available pretty much anywhere, if Warner makes it difficult or annoying in any way, people are going to just stick with the unauthorized copies that don't create such problems. Still, this is definitely a step in the right direction: realizing that it isn't effective to pretend you can ignore unauthorized copies and still charge high prices.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 5th, 2008 @ 5:16am

    I will bet you

    I will bet you 5$ that they will either put a form of DRM on it, or make it some format to where you need to download their specific player to play it (which if you ask me is like a form of DRM).

     

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    Matt, Nov 5th, 2008 @ 7:09am

    even better

    I bet they used securom! :D

    In reality, I don't think warner will ever try to let go of DRM...not for another 5-10 years. They will need to head towards "if we keep this up, we'll bankrupt" before they are willing to move. At which point, they will bankrupt.

     

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    Guilt-free, Nov 5th, 2008 @ 7:09am

    Does this mean...

    If I can get a connection to China, and I pay my $1 to download a movie of my choosing, is that a "legal copy" in whatever country I might be downloading in? Or if my buddy in China downloads them on my behalf and burns them to DVD for me, without keeping a copy for himself?

    My movie collection may just grow significantly depending on the answer.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2008 @ 7:16am

    Im sure they will be movies hard dubbed in chinese or something.

    What kills me, is WHY can they afford to sell them for $1 over there, but somehow pirated moves hurt the industry SO MUCH over in the US?

    No different then publishers who sell text books on Amazon.co.uk for a fraction of what they charge @ Amazon.com.

    Same printing, same publisher, same taxes... but college students will not pay $150 dollars for a gen. chem text book in Europe.

     

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    AnyMouse, Nov 5th, 2008 @ 7:16am

    You got that right

    Who would have known that breaking INTO the Great Firewall of China would be so useful...

    and I already have a great Chinese proxy...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2008 @ 7:16am

    Now that Obama is in charge, we will see DRM laws out the wazoo. Your arguments for IP law reform are going to fall on deaf ears now.

     

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      Nobama, Nov 5th, 2008 @ 7:28am

      Re: Anonymous maybe, Coward absolutely.

      Don't even start that disingenuous bullshit. McCain LOVES big business, and Hollywood absolutely qualifies as a big business.

      Obama may not care much one way or the other about DRM and personal use, and that may not do much for us, but you can be absolutely assured that McCain would personally piss on your burning corpse if it made one of his campaign buddies 5$.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2008 @ 7:33am

        Re: Re: Anonymous maybe, Coward absolutely.

        Wow, talk about disingenuous BS. Obama is the one calling for a civilian army; maybe it will be used to enforce IP laws? I don't know what else a civilian army would be used for; do you?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2008 @ 8:17am

          Re: Re: Re: Anonymous maybe, Coward absolutely.

          I think if any one of you could predict the future, you would have moved to a different country by now, because surely you've foreseen the new Gestapo. But I guess it's hard to read a map when your hats are so tight.

          By the way, tin-foil hat lovers, we already have a new secret, civilian, national police force. It's called Homeland Security. Remember that one -- the new cabinet-level department created by your hero, George W. Bush? Or will your cognitive dissonance kick in again, so that you can simply deny facts that don't fit with your view? Maybe claim that DHS is a subversive plot by Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers? What color is the sky today? The Democrats says it's blue -- so, what color does your cognitive dissonance say?

           

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    Mogilny, Nov 5th, 2008 @ 9:13am

    China is a lost cause.

    People won't pay extra for anything. Not even if it is more righteous.

     

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    Mike, Nov 5th, 2008 @ 10:43am

    I hope they never get it.

    I personally hope Hollywood never figures it out, the collapse of the industry is the best possible outcome here. And thank you to the Republicans who posted their reactionary anti-Obama rants... I needed the laugh! Didn't you people tell us when we didn't support Bush that we were un-patriotic for not backing the democratically elected leader? what say you now?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2008 @ 12:23pm

      Re: I hope they never get it.

      Yep, same people. Same people who said Obama didn't support the troops because he voted against a defense bill, but ignored the fact that McCain voted against a different defense bill. See, for them, only bad stuff is what the other guy is doing.

       

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    Jeremy, Nov 5th, 2008 @ 1:14pm

    Can't you see? They are using this to "offer" cheap downloads(with horrible DRM/annoying way to make them hard to watch) and then they are going to say "well, people are still illegally downloading, so its obvious no one wants cheap downloads". Its their way of trying to silence critics.

     

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    Charming Charlie, Nov 5th, 2008 @ 10:31pm

    Making it more convienient is a huge challenge

    In a major Chinese city like Beijing or Shanghai there are DVD shops everywhere. It would be hard to live somewhere more than two kilometers from one. And inside these shops, which are usually between the size of a living room and a single story home, are wall-to-wall copyright infringed DVDs with authentic packaging. In Beijing you can expect to pay 6-30 kuai per DVD which is about 1-5 dollars US.

    Obviously the price Warner is setting is good, but the volatility of the Chinese internet, where your site can get blocked one day without recourse, and the penetration of existing pirated DVD stores will be difficult to overcome.

     

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