China movie pirates passing off HD DVDs as Blu-Ray discs

Mumbai: On 27 October, acting on information provided by a Motion Picture Association (MPA) representative, the International Federation Against Copyright Theft – Greater China (IFACT-GC), officers from the Shenzhen Municipal General Culture Market Administrative Enforcement Task Force raided a shop and a warehouse located in Futian District, Shenzhen.

Officials seized 30,700 pirated optical discs in DVD and Advanced Video Codec High Definition (AVCHD) formats.  Seven thousand DVDs and 800 AVCHD discs were infringing 100 MPA member company titles including Kung Fu Panda, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Wall·E and The Women as well as TV series titles 24 and Prison Break. In addition, 5,900 pirated DVDs were infringing titles from Japan belonging to members of Japanese rights owners association CJ Mark Committee, including Around 40, Detective Conan, The One Pound Gospel and Team Medical Dragon 2.

The IFACT-GC represents the MPA and the CJ Mark Committee in Hong Kong and China and provided assistance to the Chinese authorities by examining the seized discs and confirming that they infringed copyright.

AVCHD is a high-definition and standard-definition recording format for use in digital tapeless camcorders and is compatible with Blu-ray disc players. These discs are the first ever seizures of the format in China.  

"These discs are sheep in wolf’s clothing," said MPA president and managing director, Asia-Pacific Mike Ellis. "Consumers are being cheated twice – they are buying stolen movies, which are being peddled on fake Blu-ray format. The Blu-ray format offers a greatly enhanced viewing experience which consumers are just not going to get from these fake discs."

"Consumers should not be fooled by these fake Blu-ray discs," said IFACT-GC executive director and general manager Sam Ho. "The price is a good guideline to quality – you get what you pay for and if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Consumers are advised to shop for genuine products in reputable retailers."