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Culture Minister Phoeurng Sackona speaks at the ministry’s annual meeting in February. Heng Chivoan

Ministry bids to stop breaches of IP rights

The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has announced it is taking new steps to prevent breaches of intellectual property rights on YouTube and Facebook pages by monitoring uploaded videos.

The statement, signed by Culture Minister Phoeurng Sackona and posted to the ministry’s Facebook page yesterday, says the ministry will search the sites for videos that are posted in violation of intellectual property rights.

Tok Borak, acting director of the ministry’s Cinema and Cultural Diffusion Department, said the effort follows complaints from producers saying their content was being posted illegally. The ministry will also take aim at material considered inappropriate.

“Some videos and content are harsh or cruel, or contain language that is inappropriate for minors,” he said, adding that the ministry would assess videos based on a set of guidelines established in 2011 that determine whether or not a film can be shown.

“So far, we have indentified more than 10 [problematic] YouTube channels,” he said, maintaining these could be closed if necessary, while acknowledging he was unsure how this would be enforced.

YouTube reserves the right to remove content flagged as inappropriate if it violates certain guidelines or is the subject of a court order, but also acknowledges that some content some users may find offensive does not meet this threshold.

Chhay Bora, president of the Motion Picture Association of Cambodia, welcomed the move. But he was pessimistic about enforcement.

“Too many people upload their videos, and they hide their identity,” he said.

Additional reporting by Leonie Kijewski

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