Thai pirates plunder ‘Anna’

Professionally pressed VCDs sold on streets

BANGKOK — No sooner had the Thai Film Censor Board turned down the request for distribution of Twentieth Century Fox’s “Anna and the King” on December 28, than professionally pressed VCD copies appeared on the streets of Bangkok complete with Thai, Malaysian and Chinese subtitles.

Vendors of the VCDs, which sell for 150 baht ($4.20), are unfazed by the government fine of $55 and six months in jail if caught selling illegal copies of the movie.

Discussing sale of the pirated goods, Sombat Phukarn, a member of the Film Board and the National Federation of Thai Movies, was quoted in the local press as saying, “It (“Anna”) should not be shown because of its historical distortions. We believe in freedom of information, but we have a culture and traditions that we must respect. But for those seeing it on illegal CDs, there is the freedom to do so.”

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