Friday, July 09, 2004

Bangkok's Bootlegs

This city is known as a haven for pirated music and videos. The Thai government is supposedly cracking down but no one seems to have informed the giant super-malls devoted to flogging every kind of counterfeit electronic device and recordings at a fraction of the normal price.

Today I started watching a DVD that was a blatant copy, the quality so shockingly poor that I couldn't be bothered. I laughed at what first seemed to be strange shadows interfering with the action but then realized were silhouettes of people ducking in front of the screen in the theatre. The movie that I was watching had obviously been recorded by someone who had smuggled a camera into the cinema.

Strange that it was only a few days ago I was watching Spiderman 2 at the theatre and noticed for the first time, at the tail-end of the usual barrage of horsehit that precedes the main feature, an announcement urging the audience to alert the staff regarding anyone with cameras or recording devices.

Don't get caught producing the illegal copies but metres down the road pump out millions of bahts worth of bootlegs per day in shops where no attempt is made to hide what is happening...