Between 1 or 2 weeks ago, a group was going around to the bars claiming to be looking for music downloads. Very agressive, confiscating computers, and charging several thousand baht to get them back. A few days later the real police came around and said the others were "fake" police. Last night another smaller group came around checking again. Most of the bar owners had wised up and told them to go somewhere. While this doesn't directly affect us westerners, it has caused entertainment to be a little more subdued as a lot of the owners don't know what they can or can't do. Big screen TVs are gone in some to the smaller, less connected bars. One bar down the soi used to play a dvd or post football schedules for the evening. Not anymore. Not worth the hassle as my friend put it. While I haven't been down the street to check out the main venue areas (Loy Kroy, Tae Pae gate south), I'm sure the smaller bars on the other soi's are doing the same thing. The "real" authorities have cracked down on the more visible dvd sellers to appease hollywood. All they did was drive it back underground for a while as they now come around to the bars in the evening selling movies.
#1 neosho has been a member since 13/8/2008. Posts: 386
"The "real" authorities have cracked down on the more visible dvd sellers to appease hollywood."
Is it just Hollywood or are they cracking down on music and software CDs and DVDs too?
What's happening in BKK? Is Panthip Plaza still selling stuff openly?
Can't speak for Bangkok and I haven't been checking on software. They are still selling music and games here in Chiang Mai. The main targets are the big , conspicious areas. I would assume that Pantip was affected as it was mentioned by the US in a report of piracy in Thailand. Thailand is trying to lower their listing of the "bad" countries to attract foreign investment. I'm not an expert, just what I read in the news and see.
#3 neosho has been a member since 13/8/2008. Posts: 386
In 1999 there was a major summit of huge business figureheads in Bangkok. Sony, Warner, Levi Strauss, Microsoft, and just about everyone else was there. Three or four days before they all arrived there was a massive sweep-up of pirate music and clothing from all over the city, especially Sukhumvit and around KSR. As soon as it was all gone, open top buses were going up and down KSR with the execs and their families, taking photos of everyone and everything.
As soon as the summit was over, it was business as usual.
Maybe there is a big business conference going on in town?