You walk in into a famous DVD shop in Brunei. On the walls are hundreds of clear plastic DVD sleeves with poorly-printed dvd artwork slipped in. Some of the price tags are crudely marked with highlighter pens, intending to show that is a ‘clear copy’ instead of a rough, bootleg cinema one. They’re all priced between $2-8, the equivalent of between GBP 1-4. You see boxsets of famous TV shows, some of which hasn’t even aired on your cable TV. The prices vary according to the number of discs in the boxset, but they’re still relatively cheap. You grab a copy of Avengers off the shelf, and ask the cashier, “clear kah ini DVD?” The cashier assures you that it’s the newest, clearest copy you can get, and offers to test it with their DVD player. You’re satisfied with the quality, and bring it home for a measly price of $2.
For those unfamiliar with how rampant piracy is in Brunei (which means most of you), no, that scene did not happen in an underground, hidden shop that requires you to navigate through a labyrinth of crack addicts and smokey alleyways. You can find that DVD shop in one of the biggest shopping areas in Brunei. You can find it in plain sight, with no attempts to hide it.
Or at least you used to be able to. After the government actually realised that, you know, we actually do have laws against piracy, the crackdown started.
I wrote this article for Musical Mathematics.