First off, we never knew that China had a government agency called the National Office of Eliminating Pornography and Illegal Publications. But it sounds about right.
Secondly, we would loved to have been a David Cronenberg fly on the wall at today’s DVD destruction as reported by LA Times Beijing correspondent Barbara Demick. Apparently, the Beijing affair was one of 31 such events held across the country today to show that China is serious about not permanently pissing off Hollywood. Writes Demick:
As the music switched from jazz to a marching anthem, officials filed onto a red-carpeted stage. In front of them were the condemned: thousands of pirated DVDs, most of them Hollywood fare, with Raging Bull, Kill Bill, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and Jaws visible on top. Riot police in helmets stood guard.
After a few speeches, the officials donned white rubber gloves and protective goggles and took their place behind machines resembling wood chippers. The police handed them bins filled with DVDs that the officials fed a few at a time into the machines, which with a terrific noise spit out slivers of polycarbonate plastic.
Chinese officials tell Demick a total of 26 million pirated DVDs were earmarked for destruction nationwide, while the operator of a Beijing pirated DVD store says three-quarters of such establishments have closed and that his days also seem to be inevitably numbered.