Oh those “wascally” Chinese piraters

The world’s largest film studios are cracking down on Chinese movie piracy both online and off this month. The MPA, which represents studio interests outside the US, has filed suit against Xunlei Networking Technology Co. in China after the company allegedly made it easy for subscribers to download US films over the ‘Net. The studios are looking for just under $1 million from the company, which is partly backed by Google, a figure that seems strangely low.

Xunlei has been in trouble before. According to China’s official Xinhua news agency, Xunlei has already lost one copyright case this month after being sued by rival Youdu Broadband Technology Company. Youdu had paid for the rights to distribute the film Confession of Pain online, only to have Xunlei offer access as well. Xunlei was found guilty and fined $20,833.

For its part, the MPA wants to do more than shut down unauthorized online distribution in China; it wants to put a crimp in the manufacture and sale of counterfeit discs as well. To that end, it launched Operation Blackout last November to crack down on piracy in Asia and Australia. (link)

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