Malaysia losing €610m annually from piracy

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Malaysia’s media and entertainment industry is losing RM3 billion (about €610 million) annually due to digital piracy, and local players have appealed to Malaysia’s government to update existing regulations.

Malaysia’s media producers and broadcasters say current rules do not protect copyright holders.

They have pointed out that the government is losing out on hundreds of millions in tax revenues.

According to Zahrin Aris, honorary secretary of Persatuan Penerbit Filem, the fines and penalties for individuals who use illegal set-top boxes or unauthorised apps “is too light” because the value of the content being pirated is “definitely higher than [a typical] fine of only RM30,000 (about $7500).”

Malaysia’s Measat Astro DTH broadcaster says that piracy, if left unchecked, “will disrupt the entertainment industry”. Astro added that it does not make economic sense for anyone to invest in premium content only to have programming stolen and used illegally.

Last week an individual was fined RM30,000 despite have 6 set-top boxes which were streaming Astro content onto the internet.

Laila Saat, Director, Regulatory of Astro, said: “Piracy has become so pervasive that many have forgotten it is theft. Piracy is the biggest scourge of the industry, stealing from every single person in the creative ecosystem from actors, writers, producers, directors and cameraman, thus hampering development.”

Lam Swee Kim, Chief Marketing Officer of Star Media Group, said: “The penalty imposed should reflect how severe the act of piracy impacts the industry and the act of fuelling piracy, in terms of monetisation or remuneration should also be monitored and penalised.”


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