Dark Side at work among China pirates

Would Darth Vader have approved of the dark side of the Force at work in Beijing? China’s pirates had DVDs of “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” on the streets of Beijing for between 10 and 20 yuan ($1.20-$2.40) while the credits were still unspooling on George Lucas’ latest effort. “Revenge of the Sith” opened Thursday in China in a simultaneous launch with cinemas worldwide. Chinese film fans usually wait months for foreign blockbusters to hit screens, but Beijing censors are speeding up approvals to let auds see the movie in a cinema before pirates can get their wares on the street. However, this time it made little difference. The illegal DVD shops – closed in Beijing last week for Fortune’s high-profile forum on intellectual property rights – were operating as normal in Beijing and Shanghai, and doing a roaring trade in the “Star Wars” movie.

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