Subscribe to industry newsletters


Buying pirate DVDs is a crime

I agree that buying pirate DVDs is a crime but should we not look at DVD prices as a solution?
Last night I watched what I think is a fantastic campaign against buying pirate DVDs and although I totally agree with the message I think we need to relook at what is being charged for originals.

I buy quite a few DVDs and many of them from amazon.com where I can buy it and have it imported to this country for at times a third of the price I can get it at Look & Listen. Then when CD and DVD prices went up due to the rand dollar a few years ago I didn't complain but now with the current rand dollar climate no prices have gone down this seems criminal to me, too.

Just my ranting and raving but hey :-)
Get a daily news update via WhatsApp or sign up to our newsletters.
Comment
Manana Monareng
Buying pirate DVD?-
I personally disagree with purchasing a pirate DVD, but WHEEEEEW!!! have you seen the prices charged for an original? That is what I call criminal. How is one expected to buy an original DVD for an amount between R200 and R400? Okay DVD are nice, but I can rather buy a VHS as I know it life quality that a DVD which my little one is going to scratch anyway. I think it is ridiculous how much is charged for the original and we are still expected to be honorable and not buy the fake ones? A friend of mine ones said he does not even bother to buy a DVD as the fake ones can be adjusted on the TV for perfect picture that they do not obviously provide. To some point I was tempted, but thought it allows me to sleep well at night knowing I had not ripped off someones artistic work, but really DVDs ARE HIGHLY EXPENSIVE.
Posted on 19 Jan 2005 16:00
GS
Campaign is a joke-
I agree with you about the prices of DVDs locally; they are too high, but it appears that they are coming down in certain sectors (some new releases and older movie releases). However, the anti-piracy campaign you refer to (I'm sure it's the one shown at the movie cinemas and on most new DVDs) is a complete joke. The premise of the ad goes along the lines of: “You wouldn't steal a handbag, you wouldn't steal a car, you wouldn't steal a movie, or would you? Buying pirated DVDs is stealing.” There's a basic logic flaw in the argument. Buying a pirated DVD is not like stealing a car; it's more like buying a stolen car. Just a thought...
Posted on 19 Jan 2005 16:02
Anonymous
Pathetic ads-
I've never bought a DVD locally, pirated or genuine. They're much cheaper on amazon and you can find titles that just aren't available here, and I would never buy a pirated copy because the quality is just crap. The campaign being flighted is a complete waste of money. Aside from being really corny, it's appealing to the consumer to take the moral high ground, when in truth I'd say it's the consumer's pocket that rules. Bring the prices down (for CDs too) and some of the problem might just go away.
Posted on 19 Jan 2005 16:48
Anonymous
DVD-
Maybe if they can explain why the legal DVD's are so expensive compared to the pirated one's we would then consider. The prices are just too ridiculous
Posted on 19 Jan 2005 17:05
dodja
And the DTI quotes....-
I'd agree that the "Buying Pirate DVDs is a Crime" campaign is risible... (especially the bit at the end where the DTI logo appears and a list of things that the DTI supports includes "DTI does not support crime". Whooo thanks guys). The main flaw in the campaign is that the movie industry wants to take the moral high ground -- piracy is unethical and a crime. Ja, but so is profiteering you bastards. You can buy LATEST blockbuster releases on Amazon for $17-$20, that's about R100-R120. So you'd land it here after shipping (assuming you split shipping costs over a good few, call it 10) for about R1000 + around 30% duties, or R130 odd per movie. (I'm guessing the duties.. can't find a specific amount, but did check that DVDs do NOT attract ad valorum duties). Now that's the RETAIL price. The local distributors are working on duties and shipping on WHOLESALE prices ... call Amazon's margin 20%. So they're paying around R80-90 per DVD, with duties taking it to say R100-R120 per movie. Even if they're making 100% profit, the local retail cost of R200-R400 per DVD is still outrageous. Exactly the same arguments apply to music CD. They're robbing us, and then telling us piracy is illegal? Fsck off!
Posted on 19 Jan 2005 17:18
Anonymous
Robbers whining when they get robbed is pathetic-
The DVD producers - the legal ones really take the cake. They rip their customers off and then whine when they get ripped off. They need to realise that people are voting with their wallets. Our country is full of monopolies & oligopolies; DVD wholesalers, Telkom, fuel suppliers, cell phone companies, Microsoft, etc, etc. It's a great recipe for rich gravy!
Posted on 19 Jan 2005 17:27
Quinn
Does it matter?-
Either way, you could have helped kill someone.
Posted on 20 Jan 2005 07:30
Anonymous
Price of DVD vs video-
One comment to add - it costs more to make a video than a DVD, so why are the videos so much cheaper. The suppliers will tell us it is because of the better quality that DVD's are more expensive! The local industry needs to catch a wake up - make the prices reasonable and people won't bother to pirate. I have just come back from the UK and brought back 7 DVD's of fairly new movies - average price about R55 each from Virgin Megastore.
Posted on 20 Jan 2005 09:01
Roon
A change would do us good-
I agree that pirated DVDs are a crime, but like the others, I think it's the prices here that need to change. I order most dvds exlusively from amazon.com and ezydvd.com now since they are much cheaper. My sister has started importing from amazon.co.uk because with the pound dropping, some of the dvds are cheaper than here too. Let's not get started on the substandard quality of some of the dvds here. Donnie Darko being a prime example. We are also subject to single disk editions being close in price to the two disk editions of some movies. What is the point of that when we can order the two disk version from overseas for less than the single disk (I am speaking of movies like Harry Potter)? CDs too are an issue. I bought three CDs from cdbaby.com for R180. I've seen one CD going for that price here. Perhaps when the people behind the ad realise that they are only cheating themselves, they will be able to combat piracy, and not with pretty adverts, but with action.
Posted on 20 Jan 2005 09:19
Hype
Rationalise the cost-
Firstly, wen u buy ur dvds at music they are produced,made,watever the term is, IN SOUTH AFRICA!like all our poor-quality cds, then this obscene mark-up appears out of nowhere?? think the ads should justify where their costs come from...considerin they did this tho', there wouldn't be any ads. Oh and last point, the ads are a joke,not a single person I know experienced even momentary guilt.Me buyin a pirate DVD is not like steal handbag, stealing handbag is like stealing a handbag, capiche?
Posted on 20 Jan 2005 09:55
Chant
Crime indeed -
I do view purchasing pirate copies as a crime (same old argument - feed the demand and they'll have a reason to supply). Having said that it is VERY TRUE that if the pricing were addressed, as suggested on this forum, then it would offer a long term solution to a long term problem. But the industry needs to realise this (on an international level) or else nothing will change - perhaps the back end of the income is not that important after all!?!
Posted on 20 Jan 2005 10:43
Gilbert Ryle
Boesak's Connundrum!-
If you equate hijacking a car with a gun and buying a pirated DVD as identical crimes you put yourself in the same camp as the British colonialists who deported men to Australia for crimes as spurious as stealing a loaf of bread. At my local video shop I can by 2nd hand VHS tapes of top movies for only R20. I can't believe the crap film DVDs that illegal aliens are selling on the sides of our roads for peanuts - poor copies in bad packaging. I mean would you rather sleep with a blow up doll or a real woman? I like quality and am prepaired to pay for it. I agree with punishing the people who produce fakes but the twirps who buy them are rewarded with dud merchandise. I mean who's buying fake toilet paper these days? Perhaps a creative agency can sell an ad for a lot of money to a toilet paper manufacturer to protect them from fake 2-ply. Believe me, my rear would know the difference!
Posted on 20 Jan 2005 11:24
Neil Jacobsohn
Let's get some facts on the table!-
OK,let me state up front that I'm part of the industry; in fact I'm the guy that, on behalf of SA's movie industry, put the current advertising campaign together. So clearly I have vested interests, and I am happy to take any knocks that anyone wants to chuck my way on that basis. But let's get some facts on the table: PRICE: In fact prices have come down substantially, with us as distributors recommending retail prices from R79.99 on certain catalogue lines (by no means B grade), we have also run several promotions with the retail trade offering 2 for R149.99, again on key catalogue lines. Currently the recommended retail prices for most of the titles 6 months and older is between R99 and R129. The average recommended retail price on new releases is between R149.99 and R189.99. But remember folks - we cannot prescribe prices or margin to retailers - all we can do is provide the recommended price; the retailers set their own margins. There is a whole chain of businesses involved in getting a DVD to the customer. As far as US prices are concerned (Amazon) it's simple mathematics - because their market is so, so much bigger, their volumes are massive, and unit costs come down. Nonetheless, as indicated above, we are very often competitive with them. MORALITY: And finally, why are so many people unwilling to face up the the fact this IS a moral issue, and not just a price issue? If I copy someone else's book and publish it, there's no debate. It's plagarism, and it's wrong. So if someone in Malaysia or Pakistan (the primary sources of our pirated DVDs) makes tens of thousands of illegal copies of someone else's movie and sells it, why is there no moral issue? It's theft, followed by smuggling, to get them into SA. It's a criminal activity, full stop! Since when has price been an excuse for accepting crime? If that were the case, then why don't all you folk complaining about "profiteering" go and buy stolen BMWs - the legitimate ones are very expensive, after all, and the stolen ones are much cheaper, you know! The fact is that the distributors make very conservative margins - profiteering does not come anywhere into it, other than by the pirates, who steal other people's work, carry none of the creative, production, marketing or distribution costs, and then profiteer by ripping off all you nice folks out there who refuse to face the fact you're buying stolen goods. Did you know that the pirates make a better margin from selling stolen DVDs than they do from peddling drugs?
Posted on 20 Jan 2005 12:29
Neil Jacobsohn
Easy!-
Easy! Legal DVDs carry all the costs of production, the creative costs of actors, studios, directors, etc, as well as marketing, distribution, as well as retail margins, etc. The pirates just steal the finished product, bearing none of those costs, and duplicate hundreds of thousands of copies to sell through poor street vendors to consumers who don't realise they're buying stolen goods, or don't care.
Posted on 20 Jan 2005 12:41
o-bob
pirate shmirate-
who really gives a toss? you just need to buy one pirate dvd to know that they are sub-standard, and if that doesn't bother you, good on ya. if does, cough up the extra for the quality. o and i can assure you there would be absolutely no refelction on dvd costs if sales of pirated goods were drastically curbed. you either do, or you don't and some totally miss-guided advert is not going to convince me (and hopefully most half educated people out there) that purchasing pirated material is a crime! the crime is the marketing budgets of the legitimate distributors... wipe that with your 2ply
Posted on 20 Jan 2005 15:37
Gigs
What about pirate software?-
Allow me to go slightly off-topic. Production colleges and institutions are spewing out hundreds of new audio and video editors every year. How do these penniless graduates gain further experience on sound and video software applications and build their portfolio if these applications can only be bought for thousands of rands each? Answer: They experiment with pirated/cracked versions. Find me an audio or video technician/engineer that hasn't used pirated software at least at the outset of his/her career. The culture of piracy is essentially forced on them.
Posted on 20 Jan 2005 17:17
o-bob
what about it?-
software vendors don't care much for students nor small time people using cracked software, they are more interested in medium to large companies with multi-user liscences. where the money is. plus there's the fact that software vendors accommodate "penniless students" by releasing non-commercial versions of their software. so being forced to used pirated software is not entirely ture.
Posted on 20 Jan 2005 17:53
T
Not helping-
high prices are not boosting the industry, it's killing it
Posted on 21 Jan 2005 10:44
BB
And local is lekker expensive!-
Hollywood movies aside, what about the ridiculous high prices of DVD’s locally produced? Leon Schuster's "Oh shucks I'm gatvol" for R160 and Casper de Vries' "Casper Rasper Show" for R180 (not that I’m into any of those, but just as an example). Now THAT’s unfair!
Posted on 21 Jan 2005 10:47
ntombie
why buy one than to hire one-
Why would I buy a DVD.It will not be like I would like to watch it more and more.If I have watch it once what will make me to watch it again.I think it is best to hire that to buy.
Posted on 21 Jan 2005 12:18
Anonymous
Campaign approach all wrong-
Yes, there is a moral issue here, but I think you have to be realisitic. How many consumers are actually going to give it another thought? To the average Joe out there buying a pirated CDs or DVDs would appear to have no direct impact on their life. I feel a more effective approach would have been to illustrate the negative effect on our lives and in our communities. Apathy rules and until consumers feel that something is effecting them directly, they're not going to do anything to change it.
Posted on 23 Jan 2005 14:36
mark
Who's the pirate?-
Buying anything pirate is wrong! As long as SA retailers remain greedy and make such huge profits on their products, there will always be pirate goodies for sale. Human nature, innit?
Posted on 26 Jan 2005 15:08
Dicky-Lee
Price control-
Why do we still get charged for all X-tra cost when the rand is strong and the Dollar is weak? This should be police and rip offs should be monitored.
Posted on 27 Jan 2005 07:57
Russell
Enlightenment-
For those of you who don't know this: Most pirate "DVD's" are not DVD format at all, they are video CD's created on computer (from a camcorder) and the image & sound quality are very poor. In order to fit an entire DVD on a video CD requires that the information be heavily compressed. You therefore see lots of artifacts, such as "blockiness" in the image and it is very difficult to watch. Proper DVD's are hugely better in terms of quality. In addition, the pirate movies do not have surround sound encoded on them. So, you are not saving money at all, rather buying an inferior product. I still, however, feel that local DVD prices tend to be too high. New releases should retail at around R120.00 at todays exchange rate...
Posted on 1 Feb 2005 10:53
Mike
You Mad Man, They ARE Cheap...-
...Okay, to be fair you can get them cheaper in the US but they have a MUCH LARGER MARKET buying those disks. And the prices here are really not too bad. Lately it's very rare to find disks priced at over R200 (unless they're specially packaged editions like LOTR: Return of the King extended)... ...Now I know it's fashionable to go shopping at Sandton City, CD Warehouse * Look & Listen etc. but how about looking around for DVD's where they don't have to exorbitant rental fees hmmm. There are places selling them for very good prices, Super CD at The Glen, Dion, Pick n Pay, Makro even Musica is well priced. Hell, The Incredibles (Double Disk) was just released for R140. Cheaper than a CD. And I just got The Butterfly Effect and Matchstick Men for R50 a pop. Point, stop whining. Buy original.
Posted on 23 Mar 2005 17:02
Anonymous
Pirate DVD's keep 'em coming!-
Well what a hot potato! I buy Pirate DVD's because they are so damn pricey! Many of them are pants quality, some are good, but I have had quite a few that are perfect, the same as you get in the shops, but for £3 or £4, in a case and with a cover!Now im not being funny, but I can get 3 or 4 copies for the price of an original. The answer has to be make them cheaper. I was talking to a guy at a boot fair a couple of weeks, back he says it costs him less than a pound per DVD, and sells them for a fiver, thats 4 pound profit. 20 or 30 at a boot fair, Bobs your uncle, apparently Fannys your aunt, and as for cousins etc, who knows! So tell me if the man in the street can create one of a golden nugget, why do we all have to pay at least 10 times that, and thats a cheap one. Dont give me thats how much it costs, cos thats nonsense. But what I will promise, is that I will keep on buying them till the industry starts putting them out at a sensible price, and sooner......
Posted on 12 May 2005 22:34
Grand Wizzard
DVDs and CDs are overpriced-
Besides being overpriced, this country is flooded with so-called cheap (budget) DVDs and CDs whose content is absolute 'Taurus Excretum'. The local consumer is also tired of prices far exceeding income level adjustments. Piracy is a symptom of a far deeper underlying problem - namely - overpricing.
Posted on 29 May 2005 19:39
Stoney M
It is legal to buy a pirated DVD under South African law-
If my understanding of South African law is correct it is still legal to buy a pirated DVD. Sure, the movie industry profit-chain has been lobbying government hard and the law will, no doubt, be changed soon, but this is a slow process and I would suggest stocking up on your favourite titles at reasonable prices in the meantime. The logical flaw in the advert is there precisely because they cannot state that buying a pirated DVD is illegal. They have to try and obfuscate the issue and infer it or they could be accused of false advertising.
Posted on 18 Aug 2005 17:14
noddy
A DOWNWARD SPIRAL-
The advertising and media community is the poster theme for hypocracy. How dare you call the business practace of any other industry thieving. The fact that we can sleep at night knowing that we screwed over another client for a bundle seems to be a prerequisite for the job. This apparent moral-highgound advocated by the movie industry is a realistic one and, peanut galary, this is why: 1. The proceeds for movie piracy is used for the production and import of drugs and illegal weapons. To those immature bastards that don't have children (and who are probably the end of the distribution line of these drugs), if you ever have your brains splattered against your windscreen in a highjacking wilst driving around Jozie looking for blow, spare that last second of thought for where that gun came from. 2. Apart from you being a loser, we all lose. Nu Metro and Ster Kinekor are the main importers and distributers of movies in SA. Because of revenue losses due to piracy, they can no longer afford to buy the rights to all the big movies from Hollywood. They have to now select only what they can afford, meaning, again due to your idiocy, the SA public are limited in their choice of entertainment. 3. Not that you care, spare a thought for the home entertainment industry. This industry employs 10 000 people. Due to your thieving nature, ad-boy, video stores are forced to close down everywhere. Only the big groups with the recources can make it. Did you know that a rental copy of a movie costs between R300-R400. Because of piracy, less movies are bought, again meaning that we all are limited in our choice. 4. The only reason that their ads are aimed at you that might get into trouble is simply because they realise the selfish nature of people that buy pirate DVD's. They have to appeal to some part of your backbone that is afraid of getting into trouble, because you just don't give a f..ck about anything or anybody else. Piracy is only a stitch in the seem, but it is all coming apart. I guess it is just a sign of the times. You give meaning to the saying: :you can't polish a turd"
Posted on 3 Feb 2006 09:28
noddy
JA, SHIT IS TOO EXPENSIVE-
How the hell do you justify paying R80 for a piece of steak in a restaurant or paying R100 for two or three drinks in a bar and not understand the pricing of DVD's? Even more so, if you are in the advertising industry, you probably once or twice entertained yourself with nose-candy at R250-R300 a pop. Why don't they start pirating petrol. They'll have my support
Posted on 3 Feb 2006 09:50
Anonymous
What are you talking about :-
You are a moron you flipping plonker.
Posted on 4 Feb 2006 17:13
Anonymous
What are you talking about "Keep them coming"?-
You are a moron you flipping plonker.
Posted on 4 Feb 2006 17:14
Anonymous
Dont be a weenie Neil Jacobsohn-
Stop defending those theives! If you had rather made a crappy AV for the retailers than for the public, dont you think your money would have been better spent?? Here is an idea...why not take all the money that you people are spending on fighting fakes and rather invest it in bringing the prices down??? I assure you that that would work as nobody wants to buy a copy but sometimes we just get sick & tired of being ripped off from everyone!
Posted on 19 Sep 2006 12:53
James Mashele
Trying to report pirated DVDs-
To find an authority to whom dvd piracy can be reported is difficult here. The local SAPS are soooo friendly with the pirate that one risks ostracism and victimization. Why take the chance??? But visit "Sybils" in Ventersdorp, ask for Ahmed and make a movie, game or music request and R45 later you have your prize. And the all the authorities just turn a blind eye. James.
Posted on 25 Sep 2009 16:50

Related