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Malaysian govt working to battle digital piracy

According to a recent report, those who have become victims of the threat of digital piracy are worried about how bureaucratic the road to seeking justice and reparations for their stolen content is.

They note that the crime of copyright and digital piracy has prevalent in Malaysia for the past 65 years; it is hoped that the new government will take sterner legal action to combat piracy. If there are strict laws, surely the syndicates will be fearful.

It is argued that the process is too long and inefficient. The MCMC can only instruct ISPs (Internet service providers) to block access to a website that infringes copyright once it receives the direction from the KPDNHEP.  Currently, it can take months for the ministry to ­investigate a report about a site offering illegal content.

By that time, it would have been too late – the TV show or movie would have been viewed by thousands and the content could have been duplicated by another illegal streaming website.

Thus, Malaysia needs a model on how to administer effective site blocking practices. It was noted that massive amounts of resources, time and daily engagement go into dealing with ISPs, necessitating fast action to quickly take down piracy.

It is important to note that combating piracy will require gargantuan efforts but nevertheless action should be taken starting now.

Many feel that if the content on the Internet that threatens national security, racial harmony or social morals can be dealt with effectively then Malaysia should start tackling digital piracy in the same serious manner.

If site blocking cannot be implemented, ISPs can look towards alerting users instead. It is argued that educating users will be effective in driving away traffic from such websites.

Most are optimistic about the technological direction Malaysia is taking as a nation. They are sure it won’t be long before Malaysia starts making the much-needed ­changes.

According to another report, the Communications and Multimedia Ministry, in collaboration with other ministries, is strategising the design of a specific legislation system to curb the spread of digital piracy.

The Minister of Communications and Multimedia noted that it was time that aggressive efforts were made to amend existing laws to ensure sterner action, like heavier and proportionate fines or jail penalty, were drawn up in the near future.

Digital piracy syndicates were making easy profits from the digital content market of late, and they did not fear the law or punishment.

“It has been brought to my attention that every time a complaint is lodged about digital piracy, it is pushed from one agency to another. If this goes on, the public will lose faith in our system”, he said.

The minister stated that the Communications and Multimedia Ministry would meet the stakeholders and interested parties to develop a holistic and comprehensive solution.

Apart from the affected agencies, he said the ministry would also study the judicial process, including on a more effective prosecution period to prevent the same problem from recurring.

It was noted that the issue is being discussed at the ministry level before being tabled in Cabinet; this would involve amending the relevant provisions rather than enacting new laws.

The Minister said that amendments to related laws also needed to be implemented to strengthen enforcement efforts, including blocking websites identified for posting unlicensed digital content.

He said the main aim of this aggressive approach was to make these syndicates afraid of continuing their operations and eventually stop offering their services to customers.

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