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DVD pirates running rampant in China - an annual $6bn business

Los Angeles Times reporter John Horn and Beijing-based colleague Dan Levin offer a sobering, while entertaining overview of the massive transacting of illegal DVDs in China – a business worth $6 billion a year.

"With the Chinese government essentially looking the other way, major Hollywood films can be had on the cheap in Beijing and beyond within days of their theatrical release," the journalists write.

"Poking around a pirate DVD shop down the block from the Apple Store in central Beijing one recent afternoon on her lunch break, Zhou Xin eyed the floor-to-ceiling selection of Oscar-nominated films, indie flicks and B-movies such as Nude Nuns With Big Guns before grabbing a sleek copy of Black Swan, complete with a blurb in English and Mandarin, for closer inspection. "It looks creepy," said the 26-year-old, who works in public relations. She replaced it on the shelf and picked up The Social Network, which she purchased for eight yuan, or about $1.22.

Read the full story in the LA Times.

Story filed 11.04.11

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