Content Forum Lauds All Anti-Piracy Initiatives and Stands as One to Combat Piracy
Content Forum believes that Intellectual Property should be protected and will stand as one with all groups involved to tackle piracy head on
KUALA LUMPUR, 7 APRIL 2022 – Digital piracy has long-been a serious threat that has heavily affected not only the local entertainment and media industries but also globally. In Malaysia, these industries have been reported to face losses of about RM3 billion annually due to piracy, with the government suffering about RM500 million losses in tax revenue and the jobs of thousands at risk. From content creators to film makers, actors, producers, writers, crew members and so on, digital piracy is robbing every single professional working in the creative content ecosystem.
With such whopping figures at stake, various groups like the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP), the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS) and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) have been working hand in hand to crack down on this issue and come up with anti-piracy laws and initiatives.
Being an independent self-regulatory organization registered under MCMC, the Content Forum fully supports all anti-piracy initiatives and applauds the commitment from various parties in tackling piracy issues.
“At the Content Forum, we serve as a platform to encourage self-regulation for content creation and consumption to facilitate a platform for creativity, innovation and healthy growth of a fast-changing industry. We strongly frown upon piracy and we believe that intellectual property and the creative content ecosystem should be protected. We also strongly urge content consumers to practice self-regulation and note that any form of piracy is a serious offense that is punishable by law. Furthermore, indulging in pirated content through illegal websites or illegal streaming devices (ISD) puts consumers at risk of cyberattacks and identity theft” said Kenny Ong, Content Forum chairman.
He added that with key members of the communications and multimedia content industry being part of the family, the Content Forum believes that it is more crucial than ever to stand as one to heighten enforcement and tighten existing regulations in the fight against digital piracy. “We would like all our members to know that we have their backs and support this pivotal need to protect their intellectual property and creative content from piracy. As we stand united in the fight against piracy, slowly but surely, we will be able to combat it together,” he said.
Meanwhile Content Forum executive director, Mediha Mahmood, would also like to remind users that these pirated platforms that house pirated content for streaming and downloading are not moderated and are unsafe, especially for children. “Not only do these illegal sites have a lot of pop-ups that bring viruses that can potentially harm devices, but it could also expose children to inappropriate or explicit content with the absence of parental controls and regulation,” she said.
Last year, Malaysia passed an amendment to its Copyright Act 1987 that saw a hefty fine of up to RM200,000, imprisonment of up to 20 years or both for those who facilitate copyright infringement, commit piracy or streaming technology offences. Early this year, the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) and Astro also conducted an awareness programme to advise businesses against the use of illegal streaming devices (ISD) at their premises. In a historic judgement last year, the Intellectual Property High Court in Kuala Lumpur also declared that the sale, distribution and supply of ISD is punishable by law under the Copyright Act 1987.
“I fully laud the Intellectual Property High Court for making this monumental decision as this will set a precedent and pave the way for all future civil claims on copyright infringement against ISD sellers in the market, including those on e-commerce platforms. I believe that the country is heading in the right direction to combat piracy. Piracy is a crime and those who support it are thieves of intellectual property,” said Laila Saat, Astro’s Director of Regulatory, Intellectual Property Protection & Industry Affairs.
She also hopes that more will be done in future as piracy can ultimately hamper the growth of the entertainment industry because soon it would not make sense to create or invest in quality premium content only to have it stolen away.
Meanwhile, Andrew Lee, the vice-chairman of the Content Forum and the President of the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Malaysia (4As), believes that there is an urgent need to address key enablers of digital piracy such as brands and advertising. “While advertisers and brands are free to advertise as they please, I believe that they should also be wary that their ads are not unintentionally providing financial support or otherwise legitimizing pirate sites whose chief purpose is to steal the intellectual property of content creators. We strongly encourage all marketers to take affirmative steps to avoid placement of their ads on pirate sites in our collective effort to combat online piracy,” he said.
All in all, Content Forum strongly urges the public to stop sharing illegal or pirated content and if anyone comes across such content, do report it on their platform: www.contentforum.my/make-a-complaint.