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Q: Do customs ever check hard-drives for pirated movies & tv shows?

Want to bring a few of the latest movies and TV shows that I downloaded here in China with me to the States. I've heard horror stories of people getting caught by airport customs with a bunch of dvds in their luggage and given hefty fines. Is copying all the files onto a USB or hard-drive "customs safe"?

6 years 14 weeks ago in  Visa & Legalities - China

 
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Posts: 1893

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AFAIK: You are allowed to have one copy of each movie in a DVD carrier - no packaging. Your HD is a crap-shoot whether they decide to check and/or hold your laptop or MSD.

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6 years 14 weeks ago
 
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Since 1996 I have been doing extensive traveling abroad from USA.  Have exited and entered many different Customs within USA and abroad, always with my laptop on a shoulder bag with me.  And have never been requested to have it inspected.  And I do carry a couple of USB with movies I wish to see, or music I like, to play on airplanes or hotels. 

Only once I was asked to plce my bags on a table, and they were opened and searched. Why? I have no idea, but I sort of got piss because they took every item out of three suitcases, and refused nto repack them. But found nothing, and was told I could go. It was my suitcases, they did not touch my laptop.

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6 years 14 weeks ago
 
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There's a 50% / 50% chance they'll check and maybe take it. It depends if you can do the walk, or talk the talk.

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6 years 14 weeks ago
 
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Shifu

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I have never had my laptop, usb flash drives, or portable HD's checked in either China or USA customs.

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6 years 14 weeks ago
 
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I doubt they will do random searches on your harddrive only if they suspect you of anything they may check.  If movies and what not was found i think 1. It would be hard to prove it it was paid content -with so many sites out there unless you have a cam of course and 2. Would they have the authority to do anything about it.  Consider they hating on USA its mainly USA film companies sueing they wont do anything unless you had some sick *hit on it.

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6 years 14 weeks ago
 
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No, not a chance. They dont care to or have the time to check everyone's hard-drives for copies of movies. Consider the manpower and time it would take to do that. Your time in the security lines waiting would take days. Dvds are tangible and obvious, so they are easy to catch a few to keep the number carrying fakes down.

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6 years 14 weeks ago
 
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Nobody cares in my country and the neighboring countries.

 

Probably, even in the US you can bring pirated material on your laptop or portable storage. Try not to have many different USB and external hard-drives, more than a couple would look suspicious.

 

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6 years 14 weeks ago
 
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Only case I've known like that was (read on an online forum) an older man returning from a vacation in SE Asia, but they were looking for sick s**t, not pirated s**t.

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6 years 14 weeks ago
 
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lol No they don't......I don't think anybody does...but people seem to be scared all the time..I brought like 10-20 movies that weren't original with me...

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6 years 14 weeks ago

There are cookies, bookies and too many rookies for me to sit here trying to be a hooky! Looky Looky don't call me a wooky. Touchy Touchy Feely Feely Spicy Spicy Nicey Nicey & that's what the doctor Ordered!!

 
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Those right-wing conservative capitalists above are pretty good at giving advice to sneak in pirated material.

Look at how they are going to vote for the right again.

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6 years 14 weeks ago
 
Posts: 9197

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Go through the green lane, Who cares about movies, they're free in China. It's going home that can be trouble, where copy right laws apply.

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6 years 14 weeks ago
 
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I flew back and forth between China and France a few times with a laptop whose content is 90% downloaded from torrents, and no one ever said me anything. I even carried a DVD pocket thing filled with my Xbox games without consequences.

I kept downloading - No, I tripled my downloads in France, since my connection is lightning fast, but never even received a warning or anything.

 

Long story short, they'll never bother checking. Every country keeps talking about cracking down on internet piracy, but they never do. They can't.

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6 years 14 weeks ago
 
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I have been though customs many times over last few years, and have never even been stopped or had a single bag searched.  Now airport security looks though bags for normal things.   

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6 years 13 weeks ago
 
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Have never heard about this happening, not saying it doesn't but I think it is very rare. I have on occasions been asked to turn on my laptop to prove it is a working laptop rather than a bomb, but it's several years since this has happened last. 

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6 years 13 weeks ago
 
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