Fake DVDs “fund kiddie fiddlers”

Here we go again:

GLASGOW is being targeted in a hard-hitting campaign to warn that buying pirate DVDs can help fund child porn rings... The campaign has been launched by the Industry Trust for Intellectual Property Awareness whose members include film and video distributors, retailers and cinema chains.

It seems that telling people fake DVDs funded Osama Bin Laden wasn’t effective, so the campaign’s looking for a new angle. Is there any evidence? Of course not. I’ve scoured the web and the best I can find is this, from a similar campaign in 2004:

raids to premises involved in piracy have also unearthed drugs, pornography and weapons.

Is it a surprise that groups involved in large-scale counterfeiting are also involved in drugs or porn? Not at all – the police have long said that the same people flogging fake movies are often flogging counterfeited porn DVDs too. But fake DVDs funding kiddie fiddling? Even by these scare stories’ usual standards, that’s sinking to a new low.

The truth is actually in the story:

Some market traders are thought to be earning £1000 an hour from fake DVDs, CDs and computer games.

And that’s why they do it. The people flogging fakes, generally speaking, aren’t funding Osama Bin Laden or secret kiddie-fiddling networks. They’re people who’ve realised that the cost of duplicating a disc is almost zero, and that selling dodgy discs is therefore one of the most lucrative crimes you can commit. It’s also one of the safest, which is why the porn/terrorism angle is so ridiculous.

3 thoughts on “Fake DVDs “fund kiddie fiddlers”

  1. Richard says:

    I bit the BSA’s head off over something similar a couple of years ago. They came in, about five of them, with a big booklet called ‘PIRACY AND TERRORISM – PROVING THE CONNECTION’ or something similar. Naturally, I asked for a page number where the connection was proven.

    “Uh… yeah… well, it’s sort of-”
    “It’s on the front of the pamphlet! Where’s your data?”
    “You have to realise, it’s very dangerous to-”
    “I’m sure it is, but I’m not the one claiming this. Where’s the connection proven? You put out this-”
    “I think we should move on. Everyone’s-”
    “Everyone’s calling bullshit on you. Where’s your data?”

    The meeting sort of went downhill from there…

  2. Gary says:

    Heh, I wished I’d been there to see that.

    What’s particularly ridiculous is that these tactics simply don’t work. People don’t care where counterfeit stuff comes from – I’ve written about it before (for you!) and the trade is terrifying, particularly in parts of Asia. But the only thing people care about when they consider buying fake goods is whether they’re getting one over on The Man. As long as they think they are, they’ll continue to buy. The only argument likely to work is – fake stuff is shit.

    If they really want to fight this stuff, the only way to do it is to make the legitimate products more attractive: earlier releases, lower prices and an end to underhand tactics such as disabling DVD menus. Oh, and getting rid of region coding too, although that’s a nice little bit of protectionism that I don’t expect to disappear any time soon…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *