NEW YORK: Malaysia is the largest exporter of pirated entertainment software in the world, according to the 2005 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE) by the US Trade Representatives (USTR) office.
The report said that Malaysias production capacity for CDs and DVDs exceeded local demand by 10 to 20 times and this surplus was exported globally.
Pirated products believed to have originated in Malaysia have been found throughout the Asia-Pacific region, North America, South America, Europe and Africa.
It called for better enforcement of licensed and unlicensed production facilities and a concerted effort to reduce the outflow of pirated goods from Malaysia.
The annual report, released in Washington DC on Wednesday, said that Malaysia had tightened its laws on the protection of intellectual property with laws like the Optical Disc Act 2000.
However, it felt that this law should be modernised to ensure inspection covers all locations where optical media production may occur and also include as offences such acts as gouging or tampering with the serial identification codes and burning of recordable discs.
It highlighted the Malaysian Government's efforts to reduce trade in pirated goods and the special task force chaired by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister which had overseen the expansion of enforcement staff and a more rigorous programme of raids on sellers of pirated goods.
The International Intellectual Property Association estimated that last year Malaysias industrial losses due to piracy stood at US$188mil (RM639.2mil).
The report credits Kuala Lumpur for making progress in prosecuting manufacturers and vendors of pirated goods.
It highlighted the arrests of owners of four factories suspected of producing pirated VCDs and the shutting down of six illegal factories as well as progress in tackling the judicial backlog for infringement cases.
In the first 10 months of last year, 160 cases went to trial with 51 cases recording the guilty plea.
Police and legal authorities are generally responsive to requests from US firms for investigations of copyright infringement.
But much work remains to be done in educating the general public about the value of intellectual property rights, the report said.
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