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DVD Movie Piracy in Hong Kong: Autopsy of a Brick-and-Mortar Market


This paper is a clinical examination of a surviving brick-and-mortar market for pirate DVDs during its final years of intermittent operation in Hong Kong. We examine the flow of customers, the logistics of market exchange, and the frequency of market disruption due to law enforcement. A sample of pirate DVDs was collected and examined to assess quality and the source of the original copy. During our field work, we also observe intervals of complete cessation of-to our knowledge-the last full-fledged hard goods market for pirate movies, computer software, and games operating in Hong Kong. The confluence of street-level enforcement (which raises piracy costs) and increased online availability (which lowers demand for hard goods piracy) may soon cause the physical hard goods markets for pirate films to disappear entirely as cyberspace becomes the primary domain for sharing digital content. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

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