Thursday, September 6, 2007

Pirate Everything In Jordan

Getting a pirate copy is easier than you thought. In London, you have those Chinese men with huge bags. They wait around malls, shops, they lurk around busy streets, even around cinemas. They don’t need to advertise or promote their business.

No policemen are around, so the coast is clear. People gather round, and – like selling drugs – they open their bags and present their goods. Pirate copied DVD’s, wrapped in plastic bags and a badly made cover.

Even though they have the worst quality films, everyone buys takes out their five pounds and buys a DVD or two. To the buyers, they find it better to bring the family and their friends round their home made cinema and watch their movie. Either that, or you pay five pounds to watch it in the cinema – by yourself.

The quality has no match, one is great, and the other one is fuzzy, filled with shadows of people going to the toilet, and the coughs and laughs of the others in the cinema. The picture usually is off centered, and as soon as the movie finishes you can see the camera moving, and the guy leaving the cinema. All this, or the cinema? This.

It may not be the best thing to buy a pirate copy, but getting one is well worth it. I would rather spend my well earned ten dinars on quite a lot of DVDs, rather than taking a friend with me to the cinema and finishing it all up. Most people will bear with the bad quality for 1.5JDs. I would say that everything has its price. I would prefer to buy a cheap copy of a film.

Although it may not seem right at first, but I believe that if cinemas had their price lowered to something like 1.5 JD, more people would go to the cinema rather than buy a DVD. The same goes for software.

An engineer would rather buy a cheap copy of AutoCAD, then buy a 300 dollar legal copy of the program. A boy, like me, would rather buy a game for a few JDs, than spend 45 JDs to buy the same game from Prime Megastore.

Jordanians have found something called pirate copy as a normal copy. They have nothing called legal software, nothing called copyright. Pirated DVDs litter the selves of the stores and they are always crammed full of people. Your local stationary shop has boxes full of PC and PS2 games, all of them pirated of course.

The real jokes are the popular ones that have to hide their goods. A store in Gardens Street looks perfectly legal. It has some NBA and Fifa games, legal ones, collecting dust on the selves. These aren’t for sale, these are just there so when the police come they won’t get caught.

There are catalogues under the counters, and when you choose a game, he writes it down and goes to the storage room (on another floor in the building) and returns with the pirated copies.

Another place in Amman Mall sells them. You’d expect somewhere as that to be safe and free of pirated copies, but it isn’t. Although the shelves are littered with the same legal tapes and CDs, when you ask him for a pirate DVD, he rummages under the counter and gives it to you. Almost like buying drugs. The DVDs are overpriced anyway, at 3 JDs.

The Middle East and Asia is a huge market of pirate everything. When will we change, or do we need to change, or should the vendors of the films and software change their prices? Comment, I dare you.


  1. As for the movies, sure there are bad quality DVD's out there, but those are mostly the really new movies, as for the bit older ones you can find Great quality DVD's, you can also wait some time untill the real DVD hits the markter for the new movies.

    amma bil nisbeh lal software, for sure it will be the norm, ya3ni what would you rather buy, a copy of microsoft windows XP for 1 JD or 220 JD? can you imagine a person spending almost all of his months salary to buy a CD? not in jordan :)

  2. Agreed. Older ones are good quality because they're copied from the original DVD. Its good I could easily get a high quality DVD of the Lord of the Rings, because that came out in 2001-2003. =P

  3. Ya3ni its illogical. Someone in the UK or USA getting a monthly pay of 3000$ or pounds and buying a windows CD for 100$ or 200$ while in Jordan, getting a pay of 300 or 400 JDs and buying the CD for the same price, irrational. Software prices should be different from a country to another, depending on the GDP. Thats why copyright is not being really forced here, they know people can not afford it, they are targeting only businesses that are using pirated copies.

  4. Yes, but its wierd why all our schools have pirated XP when JU has legal ones.

  5. If Windows XP sold for 30JDs, I'd buy it. As every few months I have to get a genuine advantage bypass, so that I can get the updates.

    I get my movie DVDs in Raghdan, 1JD each, and if its not DVD quality, they let you exchange (but not return) it. Every few months, I buy a 100 DVD movies. CDs go for 0.5JDs and DVDs for 1.5JD. (that's 50% cheaper than most uptown stores).

    Hey living in the 3rd world has its advantages.

    When I lived in Canada, I would download all the games CD/DVD (no problem since internet was fast an unlimited which we still don't have in Jordan), but when you want to play multiplayer, you would have to buy the game. Ideally they should give all games away for free and only make people pay for multiplayer, the single player is just a demo !

  6. well it's in lebanon as well...the people here are poor..yet influenced by the other they want to be like them...but they can't afford being like that...that's why in my opinion they go towards pirated goods...movies, clothes, mobile phones, CDs...etc..
    peace :)

  7. Information wants to be free.