US official: More can be done to combat piracy


By DANNY YAP

MALAYSIA’S enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) is commendable, but more can still be done by the government to combat the problem, according to US Department of Commerce assistant secretary for market access and compliance William H. Lash III. 

“Enforcement here is much better than in most south-east Asian countries, but a lot more can be done to reduce piracy, including the revoking of licences or arrest of individuals who flout the law,” he told reporters at an Intellectual Property Rights and Business Entrepreneurship talk in Petaling Jaya yesterday. Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman hosted the talk.  

He citied the video compact disk (VCD) and digital video disk (DVD) industry as one that had been adversely affected in terms of sales. 

“In Malaysia, the US loses about US$316mil a year due to sales of pirated VCD and DVD,” Lash said,  

Lash said the pharmaceutical industry was also facing similar problems. 

“The authorities must continue to protect the rights of entrepreneurs and their investment by creating an environment for them to succeed,” he said. 

Lash said Malaysia was a high-tech savvy country that recognises innovation, and urged the authorities to continue to be proactive in its enforcement for the benefit of entrepreneurship development. 

“Entrepreneurs must be assured of a return on their investment,” he said, adding that the export of US goods and services to Malaysia and the rest of the countries in the region should include bilateral trade obligations. 

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