BEIJING, Feb. 28 -- Robert Langdon, the fictional Harvard University symbologist who saves the day in Dan Brown's international bestseller "The Da Vinci Code," was hard at work over the weekend helping to track down book pirates in China.
Actors dressed as Langdon and two other of the book's main characters spent the day at Shanghai Book City exchanging pirated copies of the book for legal editions. Customers looking to turn their fake copy in for a legitimate edition had to tell the actors where and when they bought the pirated book.
Since the Chinese version was published last year, 500,000 legal copies of the book have been sold, but pirated versions are still readily available throughout the country. The real book sells for about 28 yuan (US$3.38), while pirated versions sell for between 5 yuan and 10 yuan.
Reader Chen Ou said the event was intriguing, but he doesn't think that it will do much to stop piracy.
"It's just a one-day event. Even if the publisher can catch some illegal printers, piracy cannot be stopped if there is a demand out there. The best way to deal with it is to lower the price of books and make them more affordable to readers," Chen said.
The book tells the story of Langdon's attempt to solve a murder in the Louvre that he is suspected of committing. Over the course of the investigation, he ends up searching for the Holy Grail, which isn't the cup Jesus drank from, as many had thought.
(Source: Shanghai Daily News)