Chinese movie piracy is overestimated

The three countries in which the [movie piracy] losses to U.S. studios were highest were not East Asian countries, and two of them were not developing countries: Mexico, the United Kingdom, and France accounted for over $1.2 billion in lost revenues, or 25% of the non-U.S. total – and slightly less than the U.S. total of $1.3 billion.

You will notice that China is not mentioned in that summary.  Go to p.13 of the paper: Russia has a per capita piracy rate lower than that of Germany and about equal to that of Japan.  And, out of the first eleven nations studied, China comes in sixth in absolute terms for movie piracy losses and eleventh in per capita terms.  In per capita terms, nation #10, Russia, has almost ten times the piracy losses as does China.  Per capita piracy losses are about twenty times higher in the United States than in China.  If eleven more nations are added to the rankings (see p.15), only two (Korea and India) have lower per capita piracy losses than China.  Overall that puts China at 20th out of 22 sampled countries when it comes to per capita piracy losses on movies. 

Hungary, however, is a major, major offender.  Chinese piracy is highly visible to those who visit major Chinese cities, because it takes the form of DVD sales in the streets.  But the real grabbers are countries where everyone has a VCR or DVD player, and where the domestic film industry is relatively weak.

These numbers may not be highly accurate, but they do put things in perspective.  Hat tip to China Law Blog.


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