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.

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Companies: warner bros.

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Comments on “If You Can't Beat Them… Almost Join Them; Warner Offers Cheap Movie Downloads In China”

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Guilt-free says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Nobama says:

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$.

Anonymous Coward says:

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?

Mike says:

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?

Charming Charlie says:

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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