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State cracks down on illegal discs

The government has confiscated hundreds of thousands of illegally copied VCDs and DVDs over the course of this year, officials said yesterday.

Kong Kanthara, under secretary of state at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, said the ministry collaborated with police from the Interior Ministry’s International Security Department and local authorities nationwide to seize about 260,000 illegal VCDs and DVDs in the first 11 months of the year.

He said his ministry has filed a request with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports for permission to use the Olympic Stadium as a venue for the destruction of the discs.

Last year, the government confiscated more than 300,000 illegal CDs, VCDs and DVDs, which were ground into dust in January at a site near Wat Phnom.

Kong Kanthara said the lower number of discs seized this year indicated that the piracy of popular films and music had dropped on last year.

“This crackdown is motivated by Khmer producers, whose products are always copied illegally, which seriously affects their income,” he said.

Ung Soleap, general manager of Hang Meas Production, said nearly 70 percent of the discs his company creates were copied illegally for distribution at almost 10 percent of their original value.

“[The vendors] are not afraid of any competent authorities,” he said. “I want to see serious legal action against illegal writers who counterfeit discs so that they will never do it again.”

The government has announced plans to open up a commercial court in 2011 or 2012 to ensure stricter enforcement of intellectual property rights nationwide.

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