Hasta La Disca, Baby

In the company's latest bid to control pirated and counterfeit products traded via the Internet, Alibaba.com has implemented a blanket ban on sales of all DVD and Blu-Ray discs on its international website.

The ban, effective May 31, drew a swift attaboy from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), a movie industry trade group that has long complained about the vast amount of pirated films, television programs, music concerts and other content coming from Chinese factories. "I applaud Alibaba's strategy to stop listing optical discs with audio visual content on their sites to deter the trade of illegal DVDs and Blu-Ray discs," said U.S. Senator Chris Dodd, chairman and CEO of the MPAA. The association's Asia Pacific and China offices have been working with Alibaba for two years to "eradicate the plague" of counterfeit discs finding their way into the U.S. and other international markets, Dodd said in a prepared statement. The ban "is a bold and positive step in protecting the livelihoods of millions of people in film-making communities across the globe," he said, urging other online trading platforms to "follow Alibaba's lead."

Alibaba.com offered no public comment beyond a statement posted on the website announcing the ban, which noted that the vast majority of legitimate disc distributors use sales channels other than Alibaba.com and those selling on the website in the past were never able to prove their products were anything but counterfeit. Officials said privately that a total prohibition was the most effective way of coping with a problem that generates a heavy volume of intellectual property complaints and wastes an inordinate amount of company resources.

All listings for discs already posted on the site will be removed from Alibaba.com as well as AliExpress.com over the next several weeks.