November 18, 2008 by Rachel Cericola
Movie pirates have Blu-ray in their sights. These aren’t eye-patch-wearing pirates, either. Instead, they are Asian pirates using software to copy Blu-ray so perfectly that neither of your eyes could catch it—but your wallet might.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a raid in the Chinese city of Shenzhen last month uncovered 800 faux Blu-ray titles ranging from “Transformers” to the new “Harry Potter.” The group was selling the knockoffs, complete with Blu-ray-styled cases, for about $7 each.
The method to their madness involves AVCHD, which uses 720 horizontal lines of resolution instead of Blu-ray’s 1,080. Also, the copies are on regular DVDs instead of actual Blu-ray discs, which is another way to save a buck. However, most consumers can’t tell; they are too busy being blinded by their extra money.
Naturally, the Motion Picture Association (MPA) is freaking out. They could lose a bundle, saying that these discs could account for 10 percent of the $224 million losses they typically see from Chinese piracy. Even eBay is warning its customers to look for the counterfeit discs. One tip is that real Blu-rays hang onto your fingerprints a lot easier than the pirated discs. Still, you probably don’t need to do detective work just yet; the WSJ report says that the pirated discs have yet to make an appearance outside of Asia.
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Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.
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