Jan 1, 2013

Malaysia - Pirated disc business in M'sia losing lustre

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The business of pirated disc sellers in Malaysia is apparently being hit by another illegal activity.

There had been a decrease in demand for such discs as the public were downloading movies online illegally, said Penang police chief Deputy Commissioner Abdul Rahim Hanafi.

He said this was reflected by the fewer number of pirated discs seized by police in Penang in 17 months under an operation codenamed Ops Ostrich.

Police confiscated 200,514 pirated VCDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs, worth 1.42 million ringgit (US$ 463,824) , in 320 seizures from July last year until last month, which was lower compared to a previous operation which netted 430,113 pirated discs.

Abdul Rahim said 293 people were arrested during Ops Ostrich, adding that among the places the seizures were made were at makeshift stalls on roadsides and at night markets. The seized discs were sold for between 6 ringgit and 18 ringgit each.

He said some members of syndicates which sold these discs were triad members as well and urged the public to inform the police if they come across any sale of pirated discs.

“The public are advised not to buy pirated discs as it is an offence to even have them,” he said after the destruction of the 200,514 discs at the state police headquarters here yesterday

Under Section 41(1) of the Copyright Act, those found in possession of pirated VCD/DVD can be fined between 2,000 ringgit and 20,000 ringgit for each infringing copy. They can also be jailed up to five years.

For a repeated offence, the fine is between 4,000 ringgit and 40,000 ringgit for each infringing copy while the maximum jail term is 10 years.

*US$1=3.06 ringgit

Royce Tan 

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