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ArabNews.com - Pirated DVDs Fill Gap in the Movie Market

ArabNews.com - Pirated DVDs Fill Gap in the Movie Market

 
Old 04-22-03, 01:00 PM
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ArabNews.com - Pirated DVDs Fill Gap in the Movie Market

Pirated DVDs Fill Gap in the Movie Market

JEDDAH (Saudi Arabia), 22 April 2003 — Pirated DVDs are on sale at several locations in the city. Often copies of new movies still showing in theaters in the United States and Europe, they are very popular among young Saudis who gather around individuals (Saudis or Africans) in front of supermarkets and in souks.

A Saudi businessman, who asked to remain anonymous, told Arab News the pirated DVDs are good business. “Both Saudis and expats are keen to buy the newest movies on DVD, especially young people, who are my main customers,” he said.

“I think the huge demand for these copies is caused by the lack of any local source for new and uncensored movies. All the local dealers bring the movies out a year late at a much higher price, and the choice is very limited.”

He refused to reveal the source of his DVDs. “All I can say is that we have a large collection of new movies, and 95 percent of the copies are as clear as the originals.”

Arab News put it to him that selling pirated copies was illegal. “If I sold these DVDs in a country where the originals are legally available then it would be a crime,” he said. “But there are no original copies in the market.”

These DVDs sell for between SR30 and SR60, depending on the number of copies of each movie the vendors expect to sell.

The huge demand for the DVDs demonstrates how hungry locals are for the latest movies. A young Saudi customer in front of a supermarket in Al-Rawdah district had chosen five DVDs already when he spoke to Arab News.

“We are very interested in watching the latest movies,” he said. “Before we had these DVDs we used to wait for the summer vacations, when we could travel and watch the movies in theaters abroad. We couldn’t buy DVDs abroad and watch them at home because we knew they might be taken from us at the airport.

“Now these people provide us with new movies, uncensored and very cheaply,” he added.

He said local video stores had only limited collections. “They’re very expensive and they’re censored. We don’t like censored copies because the cuts can affect the story of the movie.

“If there were big video stores offering a wide uncensored selection we would go there,” he added.
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Old 04-22-03, 01:30 PM
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Guess we're familiar with that too over here in Asia.
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Old 04-22-03, 03:40 PM
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I understand their situation. I lived in Saudi Arabia for a year and it is very irritating when there are no movie theaters and everything, including The Nutty Professor, is cut to s**t on video.
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Old 04-22-03, 05:00 PM
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Re: ArabNews.com - Pirated DVDs Fill Gap in the Movie Market

Originally posted by BJacks
Arab News put it to him that selling pirated copies was illegal. “If I sold these DVDs in a country where the originals are legally available then it would be a crime,” he said. “But there are no original copies in the market.”
That's like saying it's ok to buy & sell bootlegs of the Star Wars Trilogy just because they aren't available.
As much as they try to justify it, it's still illegal.
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Old 04-22-03, 05:05 PM
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Not a big bootleg fan, but if I were in that situation, I would have no choice but to buy them myself.
The world is becoming so globalized, governments like Saudi Arabia (and the many others like it) that try to censor and surpress imported media should finally realize its a lost cause (with bootleg DVDs, internet, satellite TV, etc) and lighten up. They can't control things like that the way they used to.
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Old 04-22-03, 07:48 PM
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Jeez, don't let Dubya hear about this. He's just looking for an excuse to invade.

Yes, I know bootlegging is wrong, but in cases like this, what choice have the people got?

And it may get me in trouble, but I there are a lot of cases where I don't have a problem with boots. For example, a film like Song of the South where the studio has all but said they'll never release it. Or if someone wants a good copy of the original Star Wars without all the 'improvements'.
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Old 04-22-03, 08:29 PM
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If this becomes a subtle force for liberalization in Saudi Arabia, then I'm glad this sort of bootlegging is taking place. Who knows, they might all watch Pearl Harbor and stop hating America! Then again, that movie sucks so much, they might hate America more...
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Old 04-22-03, 09:15 PM
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I assure you, the quality of these films is BEYOND that of DVD. And 5.1? That is only for devil hounds. These copies include 8.5 audio features!





Last edited by Jackskeleton; 04-22-03 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 04-23-03, 01:38 AM
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Originally posted by Jackskeleton


I assure you, the quality of these films is BEYOND that of DVD. And 5.1? That is only for devil hounds. These copies include 8.5 audio features!




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Old 04-23-03, 11:17 AM
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Re: Re: ArabNews.com - Pirated DVDs Fill Gap in the Movie Market

Originally posted by Movie_Man
That's like saying it's ok to buy & sell bootlegs of the Star Wars Trilogy just because they aren't available.
As much as they try to justify it, it's still illegal.
Looks at copies of Star Wars and Indiana Jones Trilogies and laughs diabolically. I say good for the saudi's the screw the government, if they don't want to release it right, get it from somewhere else.
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Old 04-23-03, 08:14 PM
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Does Saudi recognize American copyrights? If not, then it's not illegal to sell bootlegs there.
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