Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Malaysia off the priority watch list for pirated movies, music.

Malaysia is off the international "priority watch list" for copyright infringement of music and movies. Stringent enforcement and seizures of equipment and pirated discs have helped the country shrug off its dubious honour of being the number one producer and supplier of pirated movie and music discs.

More than 34 million illegal optical discs, 55 factory optical disc production lines and 3,362 optical disc burners were seized. More than 8,000 suits have also been initiated.

Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs Ministry’s deputy director-general (management) Ahmad Dahuri Mahmud said in the first nine months of this year alone, a whopping RM136 million worth of pirated discs and equipment were seized in Malaysia.

A dedicated task force, which he heads, has been clamping down on the syndicates involved in the production and distribution of pirated discs by checking every lead and tip-off, even travelling the length and breadth of the country to bring them to book. The team has seized 18 replicating machines worth RM72 million and RM64 million worth of DVDs, VCDs, CDs and raw materials to produce the discs.

He said the Government was serious about removing Malaysia from the international piracy watch list altogether. This year’s seizure is the highest in the past five years and it reflects the efforts of the task force.

In 1999, many major Hong Kong syndicates transferred their operations to Malaysia because of the new laws introduced there to protect copyright infringement. At that time, Malaysia was an attractive base because of the lack of laws against piracy. "However, with the introduction of the Optical Disc Act 2000 and stringent enforcement by the ministry, the syndicates were forced to relocate their operations elsewhere," Dahuri said.

**** I think that the authorities must be congratulated for a job well done. By this strict enforcement they have breathed some much needed 'oxygen' into the movie and music industry worldwide. While the 'export' side of these pirated discs may have been curtailed the domestic scene very much remains the same.

Despite all the enforcement and claims of success, the proof of the pudding is the degree of difficulty in obtaining this pirated ware. It is very obvious that these discs are still as easily available as before at the same cheap price. The pasar malam are overflowing with the pirated stuff and the traders are selling it without any obvious worry. Perhaps the concerned people in enforcement have been 'taken care' of? Therefore domestically our enforcement teams have clearly lost the battle. But let us not make a big noise about it, lest the International Intellectual Property Alliance comes to find out and reinstates our country in their 'priority' list.

Latest success: Police Seize Porn Discs Worth RM1.2 Million


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