No piracy of Spider-Man 3 in China: Sony

MUMBAI: Contrary to news reports about stolen copies of Spider-Man 3 being sold illegally on the streets in China, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s investigation in China has revealed no case of the film being pirated.

According to an official statement from the company, similar hoaxes and false alarms have occurred prior to the release of other major films. “We have uncovered examples of Spider-Man 2 being sold in Spider-Man 3 boxes in China. But thus far we can find no instance where Spider-Man 3 has appeared on DVD,” the statement said.

What’s more, the company claims that it hasn’t yet found any pirated copies of the movie on the Internet after an initial investigation of online sites worldwide.

Sony Pictures Entertainment has also taken steps to curb piracy in China by releasing the movie first in China before it officially opens in North America. The movie releases worldwide on 4 May, 2007.

The latest figures show that the total loss to the whole audio visual industry through copyright theft, including file sharing, home burning and borrowing other people’s fake DVDs is more than £818 million. Of this, £450 million is the value of lost DVD sales, £277 million is lost box office takings and £74 million is from loss to the rental sector.

Over the past year, 21 US states, including Florida, passed laws making the video recording of movies in theaters illegal. Another 18 are targeted by the MPAA for passing such laws in 2005. The US Senate already sent the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act to the House of Representatives for approval that would make in-theater recordings a federal felony.

In January this year, Twentieth Century Fox determined that up to 50 per cent of pirated movies come from Canada – particularly Montreal. Apparently they do not have the same laws as in the United States, where recording a movie in a theater means eight years in jail time on top of a $250,000 fine.