Chinese TV Station Tried Passing Off Top Gun Footage As Training Exercises

from the now-when-will-the-infringement-suit-hit? dept

Via Gizmodo we learn of the hilarious claim that China Central Television’s news broadcast recently showed some imagery purported to show Chinese military training exercises. The only problem is that some folks recognized the footage as coming from the Hollywood movie Top Gun, starring Tom Cruise. You can see the screenshots below, comparing the CCTV news footage (on the left) with the identical frame captures from Top Gun:

Of course, I can only assume that China Central Television did not have a license to show Top Gun on TV. What are the chances that someone in Hollywood decides to sue?

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Comments on “Chinese TV Station Tried Passing Off Top Gun Footage As Training Exercises”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Official PDRC announcement

Obviously movie film “Top Gun” has stolen aircraft training film from Glorious People’s Democratic Republic of China. We condemn these heinous acts of espionage by foreign movie interests and stand proud with active strong military tradition of great China and many brave soldiers who have small resemblance to foreign movie actor Tom Cruise.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:


Well, let’s calculate this using MPAA methodology.

Top Gun had a budget of $15-million (Source: Wikipedia). The population of China is 1,331,460,000 (Source: World Bank) – or over 1.3 billion Top Guns that now won’t be made. Simple math tells us that 1.997×10^16 or nearly twenty-quadrillion dollars has disappeared as a result of this egregious intellectual property theft.

But that’s just the beginning: Top Gun also massively boosted sales of bomber jackets and aviator glasses by around 40%. We can assume by extension that it boosted fighter jet sales approximately the same amount. The cost of an F-16 is around $15-million dollars, so add forty per cent to that and multiply by the number of bomber jackets sold every year, which we don’t have a firm stat on but can guess to be around twice the world population since most people own at least two jackets. Add that to our twenty-quadrillion figure, multiply by two (the number of lenses in a pair of Aviators) and you have the truly stomach-churning sum of infinity-million dollars that were lost to this one video alone. Now consider the number of films downloaded on BitTorrent every year and it becomes clear that piracy will bring about the heat death of the universe.

Paul Hobbs (profile) says:

Let's focus on the real issue

I think that with all the amusing banter going on in this thread, we have lost sight of what is really important. Because the CCTV (is there something ironic in the acronym of China’s state-controlled TV broadcaster?) used the footage of Top Gun without authorisation (which I admit is an assumption), poor struggling actors like Tom Cruise are being denied their dues – how is Tom expected to survive if people keep watching/using his films without paying for the privilege?

fogbugzd (profile) says:


You forgot the multiplier effect. Granted, you listed secondary and tertiary markets and included approapriately inflated estimates, but industry standard practice is to multiply everything by three to account for the secondary and tertiary effects of the secondary and tertiary effects. Otherwise it was a good effort, and you definitely could have a future in IP economic impact analysis. I particularly liked the fact that you avoided any calculation of possible benefits of the piracy. Things like reviving interest in an old movie or opening up Chinese markets just muddy up otherwise perfectly fine self-serving calculations.

URGthrash says:

thats funny, what strikes me as so funny that a Chinese training video would feature only American aircraft, top gun only showed 2 aircraft , the f-14, and the f-5a talon , both are not Chinese aircraft ( even thou im sure half the parts where made in china 😉 )

goes to show ya , how the press will force feed garbage to those willing to watch

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