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GBP 1.50 Movie DVD debuts

AP reports that two of the biggest Hollywood names, Paramount and Warner Bros, are going to collaborate in order to fight movie piracy in China.

Their strategy is strikingly different from what one might expect. Instead of going for the stick (and use the law and coercion) to reduce piracy, they will reduce the price of their DVD movies.

Paramount will release recent DVDs through the 20,000 or so Warner Bros outlets in China for £1.50 only.

Time Warner (opens in new tab) was the first to sell ultra-cheap original movies on DVDs back in 2006 with prices hovering between 65 and 80 pennies.

These will be legal and genuine DVDs complete with inlets and bonuses.

More than 90% of movies in China are pirated with pirated DVDs often coming out before the films are released in cinemas thanks to bootlegged copies.

Although the GBP 1.50 is higher than the GBP 0.40 that punters can expect to pay for a pirated DVD, Paramount and Warner are banking on the fact that people will prefer original to fake copies.

It would be interesting to see whether the studios are going to prevent people from importing DVDs from China rather than purchasing them locally.

For example, the first film to be sold at that price will be Transformers which costs £12.99 (opens in new tab) at and £1.50 in China... Grey Market anyone?

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.