Pirate copies traced to Czech government

'Empties' DVD supplied for funding application

PRAGUE — Pirate copies of hit Czech pic “Empties” circulating on the Internet have been traced back to the Czech ministry of culture.

Helmer Jan Sverak provided a DVD copy of the pic when applying for coin from the Czech Cinematography Fund.

Sverak calls the alleged pirating outrageous and has filed a complaint. “Luckily, this is not a high-quality copy and it has warnings,” he said.

Culture minister Vaclav Jehlicka has pledged to punish any employee found to be responsible for uploading the copy of the comic romancer, on which the message “For the internal use of the Czech Ministry of Culture” clearly appears.

Ministry spokeswoman Marcela Zizkova added that the copy was kept in a “locked space” at all times.

“Empties” was one of the only films to pay back its state funding, thanks to its record box office in the Czech Republic, scoring more than 1 million in theatrical auds.

Sverak’s shingle Biograf will release the pic on DVD in October.

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