Thailand in the News Week Ending 1/30/10

Thailand to Ask U.S. to Take it Off Piracy Watch List

Pirated movies on the streets of Bangkok

This week the powers that be in Bangkok suggested that they would once again ask to be taken off the piracy watch list by the United States, fat chance.

All you have to do is walk around Bangkok or Pattaya for 5 minutes to realize the proportion of pirated items in Thailand is a huge problem for companies world wide. The day a hit movie hits the theaters it’s also on sale on the streets for 100 baht note. And movies are just the tip of the iceburg, clothing, music and everything else under the sun gets copied as soon as it hits the market and is on sale to you on the streets of Thailand within days.

Mikes Shopping Mall in PattayaAlthough there are highly publicized raids on markets and shopping centers throughout Thailand these raids usually net a very small amount of pirated goods and the sellers are back at it within 24 hours. Just this week in Pattaya Mikes Shopping Mall was raided and a total of 101 bags, 47 wrist watches, 35 shirts and 10 hats with a combined street value of around 20,000 Baht were confiscated. Anyone else with half a clue could have found 20 times that amount in the same mall just casually perusing the outside vendors and those on the first floor. Seems the vendors had an inkling that the man was coming.

Until Thailand owns up to it’s piracy problem and actually does more than make a modest show of doing anything about it they will be on the piracy watch list for a very long time. And that’s good news for you and me because you can find some decent quality pirated goods at a very good price, especially when you are talking about video games.

Filmmaker Oliver Stone Still Irrelevant

Oliver Stone-  Conspiracy Theorist

Ever since his hit film JFK was released the self proclaimed conspiracy theorist has been giveing lectures world wide on the assassination of  American President John F. Kennedy. And this week found Mr. Stone expounding on said conspiracy to a host of 300 Thai high school students who were no doubt bored to death.

Stone was in Bangkok as part of a series of talks facilitated by the Vienna-based International Peace Foundation. Who, no doubt, couldn’t procure anyone more interesting to speak. While I’m all for a good conspiracy and the JFK assassination is the mother of all conspiracies, Oliver Stone is just way too far out there for anyone with an actual brain in their heads.  Aside from the fact that his film on the assassination fudged some very real facts and created new characters out of thin air and is widely regarded as being  a bad speculation as to actual events, who actually cares anymore?

JFK is more relevant today than Oliver Stone is and that’s saying something considering the former has been dead for 47 years! Maybe if Stone would stop boring Thai students to death and found a good movie to make the studios might give him some money and he might make the news again for something other than a long dead conspiracy.

13 nations vow to save tigers

Thailand Tiger At SriRacha Tiger Zoo

This week a dozen nations including Thailand and Russia met in Hua Hin, Thailand to discuss the wild tiger population throughout Asia.  The nations which also included China, India, and Myanmar vowed to join together and double the population of wild tigers by 2022. The plan includes cracking down on poachers as well as limiting the building of roads and infrastructure in the tigers natural habitat.

Tiger numbers in the wild have plummeted because of human encroachment and poaching. From 100,000 at the beginning of the 20th century, the number of tigers today is less than 3,500. Hopefully this pact between the nations holds up and is much more than a diplomatic meeting. These beautiful creatures need to be preserved and it will take a multi-national collaboration to make that happen.


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9 Responses to Thailand in the News Week Ending 1/30/10
  1. Mike
    January 31, 2010 | 8:17 pm

    Talen personally I try to avoid buying pirated stuff but its difficult here. You only need to take your computer to the repairers to find they have loaded you a few “extras!”

    Tigers are a special animal for me, I am pleased Thailand is joining in but sadly the wild Tigers here roam in the border region(near me) with Myanmar and poaching is still a problem.

    I still remember the excitement(dropped the camera lens) when I was in India and spotted a wild Tiger in a conservation area.
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..Oh my God Oh my Buddha! =-.

  2. Talen
    February 1, 2010 | 3:10 am

    Mike, the computer thing is for sure. Upgraded Pookie’s computer in Pattaya and she came back with at least 50 games and other programs that were definitely not legit.

    Spotting a tiger in the wild had to have been a great experience…let’s hope this joint effort works so more people can have that experience as well.

  3. ChuckWow
    February 1, 2010 | 4:29 am

    Before high speed internet was available in my area Pattaya was my favorite source for the latest in movies, operating systems and programs. There used to be a great store on Second Road just down from Pattaya Tai – you walk in and browse through their catalog of software and the next day you go back and pick up your selections. Now all this is just a Torrent away.

    Shopping is a lot of fun in Pattaya – I can’t tell you how many “Rolex” watches I have given away for Christmas presents.

    Who will be speaking at that Thai high school next week – Jesse Ventura ??

    • Talen
      February 2, 2010 | 5:34 am

      Chuck I don’t think I have ever had a good enough connection in Thailand to even download a full torrent. Besides I’m lazy and there is always a movie seller within arms reach.

      Jessie Ventura would be a remarkably good choice for the conspiracy series of lectures, unfortunately he is probably too scared that the government will off him if he leaves the country.

  4. Catherine
    February 1, 2010 | 9:51 am

    Talen, Pantip Plaza is indeed a lark. All through the complex there are HUGE signs warning against pirated software – and nearby those… pirated software. Heaps and heaps of the stuff.

    The main difference I see between Thailand and other countries is that here, the piracy is in your face. Other’s go out of their way to hide but it’s still there (just online).

    The tiger in Thailand subject is an interesting one (thanks for posting about it).
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Wat Bang Phra Tattoo Festival: 2010 =-.

    • Talen
      February 2, 2010 | 5:35 am

      Cat, it is true that pirated goods can be found throughout the world but unfortunately most of it comes from South East Asia and Thailand is high on the pirate list.

  5. Martyn
    February 2, 2010 | 3:29 am

    Talen you’ll probably be pleased to hear I’ve never heard of Oliver Stone as I’m not a big watcher of movies, though I do recall a fit lass called Sharon, any relation.

    Pirated goods are a big problem but when the originals are so far out of reach pricewise to the ordinary Thai person then the problem isn’t going to disappear. I also think with the strong Thai baht getting my cheap T-shirts and shorts makes Thailand an attractive holiday proposition as far as money goes.

    Tigers…that’s sad. From a population of 100,000 to under 3,500 makes me think that even the doped tigers of Kanchanaburi’s Tiger Temple are at least safe from the crosshairs, even if their lives aren’t exactly as they should be.
    .-= Martyn´s last blog ..Thailand Blogs – January 2010 Review =-.

    • Talen
      February 2, 2010 | 5:40 am

      Martyn, You may remember the one really good movie he did back in the 80′s called Platoon. I remember Sharon Stone…sadly she resembles more of my grandmother now than a fit lass.

      Pirated goods do bring the world closer to the average Thai’s reach and in most cases I don’t have a problem with it. The Thai government has pirated goods too such as AIDS medicines and the blood thinner plavix. These medicines are out of reach price wise for the average American much less the average Thai. They are also much needed and shouldn’t be kept from the people who need it due to the greed of the companies making them.

      The tiger numbers are surprising. One can only hope that this coalition can make an impact and change things.

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