Feds, MPAA Celebrate Made For Hollywood Fake DVD Bust Conviction

from the fits-the-script dept

Well, it looks like the story of Randolph Hobson Guthrie III is following the expected story arc. Back in October we pointed to an absolutely fascinating Wired Magazine article about Guthrie’s supposed “bust” in China for selling counterfeit DVDs. As we noted, reading through the details it becomes abundantly clear that this was the case of Chinese officials playing US officials and the MPAA by “working together” to crack down on what was basically a rich, but ridiculously careless, American front-man for a counterfeit DVD selling operation. The MPAA and the US government had been complaining about a lack of cooperation from China on cracking down on counterfeiters, so China “cooperated” but handed over just the front man, who just happened to be an American. Now, the AP is reporting that he’s been convicted and will hand over nearly a million dollars, along with spending the next few years in jail. So, of course, there are quotes from folks like the MPAA and US officials talking up this “cooperation” in taking down this “extremely large operation” that meant “performing artists lost thousands and thousands of dollars.” Leaving aside the fact that “performing artists” rarely get any of the take from DVD sales, it’s unlikely this bust actually stopped any operation, as the suppliers weren’t stopped and probably just kept moving fake products through other channels. However, China now gets to point to the bust and show that it’s cooperating, while also saying that it’s not just Chinese citizens involved. And, of course, the MPAA bought the perfect script hook, line and sinker. Maybe we can look forward to the movie version — which likely will be available as a counterfeit DVD from China soon after it hits the theaters.

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