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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Small CD, DVD shops cry foul over raids

Small CD, DVD shops cry foul over raids

Larger shops said to benefit from tip-offs

A NEW government decree to curb the sale of counterfeit CDs and DVDs in Cambodia is unfairly targeting small market vendors, according to several small shop owners.

"Authorities have seized our products while ignoring larger sellers," one shop owner at Olympic Market who requested anonymity told the Post.

"The big sellers get tips from authorities in advance to warn them of a raid," he said.

The shop owner said he can't afford to pay the government fine - between US$1,500 and $2,000 - for selling counterfeit discs.

"If we don't pay, the authorities told us we could be jailed," he said.

"Authorities are only seizing local counterfeit discs, but those from abroad are not taken," said Eung Seangleng, a supervisor at CD World. "They just told us not to sell them or import them anymore."

Pok Vanthy, deputy director of the Cinema and Cultural Diffusion Department, said he had not yet received official reports about the confiscations, but he said the law was clear.

"Punishment for selling counterfeit music and movies has been set by subdecree 63 of the Royal Government," he said. "If someone refuses to pay fines, we will file a complaint with the court."

He said he had no knowledge of local authorities alerting vendors about raids but that the government was doing its best to stop the sale of counterfeit products.

"We don't want to fine anyone," he said. "We just want them to cooperate with us and follow the law."

Pok Vanthy said authorities have targeted three Phnom Penh districts - Dangkor, Prampi Makara and Daun Penh - but operations would be extend to the four other districts beginning next week.

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