Chinese DVD Pirates Jailed in UK

Stephen Yagielowicz
LONDON – A small victory in the war against porn pirates has been won on the streets of London, as four Chinese citizens have been sentenced to jail time after being convicted of selling hundreds of bootleg DVDs – including adult titles.

The case illustrates the reach of Chinese piracy of copyrighted materials, which are not confined to distribution within the country, but have become black market mainstays, worldwide.

The convicted woman and three men reportedly had more than 600 illegally pirated DVDs in their possession at the time of their arrest.

Yun He pleaded guilty to violations of the 1994 Trade Marks Act and 1984 Video Recordings Act after being found with 63 pirated movies and 23 adult DVDs and was given a six-week concurrent sentence on each of these offenses; but will only serve three weeks before her release.

Repeat offender Ming Chen was given a similar sentence after being caught with 138 pirated movies and 55 adult DVDs. His arrest came while he was out on bail, having been arrested days earlier with 90 pirated movies and 14 adult DVDs.

Bei He, who had no previous convictions, received a six week sentence which was suspended for two years, after he was caught with 62 pirated movies and 34 adult DVDs.

Ping Guo also received a six week sentence which was suspended for two years, after he was caught with 79 pirated movies and 50 adult DVDs.

Both He and Guo were also barred from carrying more than one video in a public place for the next two years.

While critics have been quick to point out that the case will not make a dent in the practice of pirating adult videos, authorities said it is a step in the right direction, and an indication that internationally law enforcement is treating intellectual property crimes seriously.