PENANG: More government agencies should be roped in to fight the war on VCD piracy, said the Recording Industry Association of Malaysia.
Its chairman Darren Choy said that at present only the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry was entrusted to enforce laws such as the Copyright Act 1987, Optical Disc Act 2000 and Trade Description Act 1972 to curb piracy activities.
“Agencies such as local governments, the Customs and Excise Department, Anti-Corruption Agency and Finas should be roped in to better handle the problem,” he said.
While lauding the Government for coming down hard on pornographic VCDs and piracy activities, Choy said closer co-operation among enforcement agencies was needed.
Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi recently said that the distribution and sale of pornographic VCDs needed to be stopped.
The recording industry association's general manager Lam Tuck Seng said joint efforts by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, police and the Home Ministry previously had bore fruit.
“Places such as Petaling Street, USJ Taipan, Damansara Uptown, SS2, Sea Park, Sunway Pyramid and Desa Setapak have ceased to be hot spots for pirated VCDs,” he said.
He added that piracy not only paralysed the local music and film industry but was also morally wrong.
Lam called on the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry and Home Ministry to increase monitoring of all the 41 licensed CD factories in the country as some were found to be involved in piracy recently.
In Kuala Lumpur, Indian Video Shopowners Association president S.P. Siva said the Government should initiate the setting up of a single enforcement unit to monitor video outlets instead of empowering the police, Home Ministry, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, Customs and local councils to do so.
He said some Indian video outlets had a few “visits” by several enforcement agencies to check for pornographic VCDs and B certificates (compulsory for all films for viewing or sale to the public) in a day.
“An outlet in Shah Alam has been subjected to raids by three agencies within a period of two hours, with two of them raiding on the same issue of checking the B certificate for the VCDs,” he added.
Siva said the association fully supported the government’s move to abolish pornographic and pirated VCDs and was committed to eradicating them.
“We know the Government is entitled to monitor the business and trade practices of video shop operators but they are frustrated with the harassment,” he said.
Siva said the association would prepare a memorandum detailing the problems faced by members to be submitted to MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and Abdullah.
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