Optical Disc Piracy

What Is Optical Disc Piracy?

Optical disc piracy is the illegal manufacturing, sale, distribution or trading of copies of motion pictures in digital disc formats including DVD, DVD-R, CD, CD-R and VCD. These illegal hard goods are sold via websites and online auction sites, via e-mail solicitation and by street vendors and in flea markets around the world.

Fighting Optical Disc Piracy In Hong Kong And Around The World

In 2007, the MPA’s operations in the Asia-Pacific region investigated more than 36,200 cases of piracy and assisted law enforcement officials in conducting nearly 13,000 raids. These activities resulted in the seizure of more than 31 million illegal optical discs, 40 factory optical disc production lines and 6,400 optical disc burners, as well as the initiation of more than 10,000 legal actions. 

Camcorder Piracy

Ninety percent of pirated initial releases come from camcording in movie theatres. Once made, illegal movies often appear online within hours of a movie premiere. Copyright thieves sell these "master recordings" to illicit "source labs" where they are illegally duplicated, packaged and prepared for sale on the black market, then distributed to bootleg "dealers" overseas around the world.

Consequently, illegal copies of films appear in street markets around the world just days after their first theatrical release, significantly damaging box office revenues.

What Can Be Done?

Enforcement, education, technological protection measures and forensic examinations are essential components of HKISA approach to eliminating piracy.

Among the current measures to counter illegal camcording activity in the world are:

Investing in Security: HKISA's supporters and major movie studios are spending substantial amounts of money to upgrade movie print security across the country and have retained security companies to conduct routine bag examinations and handheld metal detector inspections at theatrical preview screenings. Warning signs prohibiting camcording are also posted in cinemas.

Technical Measures to Prevent Camcording: A number of technologies are under development that should greatly inhibit the ability of pirates to camcord films in cinemas. They include jamming technologies that disable camcorders from copying a theatrically exhibited film being shown on the theatre screen; new forensic watermarking that allows investigators and law enforcement officials to know the exact time, date and location of a screening at which a camcorded copy was made; and advanced in-theatre camcorder detection that would alert theater owners to individuals camcording within the auditorium.

To Report Piracy, please Email to info@hkisal.org