Are we ethically conflicted but entertainment starved residents about to see a yet another assault on our beloved,
pirated copyright-challenged DVDs? According to Yahoo (quoting Xinhua, but we couldn’t find it anywhere on their website), the Supreme People’s Court decided yesterday to widen their net in their attempts to curb this country’s rampant movie and music piracy:
The court, in an order Thursday, cut in half the number of counterfeit DVDs, CDs or other audiovisual products that trigger criminal penalties of up to three years in prison, the Xinhua News Agency said. It said the court also raised fines for smaller offenders.
Anyone caught with 500 pirated discs will face criminal prosecution instead of fines, down from the previous 1,000 discs, Xinhua said. It said the number of discs that triggers more severe penalties of up to seven years in prison was cut in half to 2,500.
Shanghaiist began to sweat a little while reading this, as we know a very dear friend (cough cough) who, after more than three years in our fair city, has accumulated a DVD collection that undoubtedly exceeds the new minimum threshold. We’re pretty sure that the penalties apply to distributors and not consumers, but to be on the safe side, we have one suggestion for all you readers who are straddling that 500 disc fence: maybe it’s time to toss out all the
Ashton Kutcher dead weight movies you accidentally (or secretly) purchased but can definitely afford to do without.
The article goes on to say that the government is in the midst of an anti-piracy crackdown that will run through May, so don’t be surprised if some of your favorite DVD stops take an extended break. Still, we’ve seen scares like this before, and the pirates always seem to bounce back and keep on chugging. And of course, the effectiveness of a law depends upon its enforcement, which itself often falls under the category of “fake.”
Photo courtesy of mibuchs.