Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pirates in Cambodia?

Pirates in Cambodia?

Pirates in Cambodia?

Despite assertions from government officials that Cambodia was steadily improving its intellectual property laws as per WTO guidelines, Asian film industry insiders believe that large-scale optical piracy operations are currently being set up here.

Managing Director of Asian Movieworks Scott Rosenberg said a crackdown on piracy around Asia meant that organised crime rings were relocating to "more fertile ground" like Cambodia.

Last year, combined efforts between the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and local authorities led to the closure of 63 illegal optical piracy factories in Malaysia, China, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan.

"The centre for Thailand's piracy has shifted to Cambodia with product now being produced in Cambodia and shipped back to Bangkok and Singapore for distribution around the world," Rosenberg said. "The 'system' in Cambodia is presently influenced too much by money, of which the 'pirates' have lots to buy off any enforcement."

MPAA Asia Pacific Regional Director and piracy enforcement chief Mike Ellis also said there was mounting evidence to suggest increased criminal activity and illegal production within Cambodia.

"We are hearing these rumours too and we are reviewing exactly what is in the country by way of production to verify the extent of the problem," he said. "We have recently come across a number of imports to Thailand...that are coming across the Laos border, which I find interesting."

Secretary of State at the Ministry of Commerce and head WTO negotiator Sok Siphana admitted he had heard rumours of large-scale piracy operations in Cambodia but said that due to the lack of big business and a "rapidly changing" understanding of intellectual property laws, he doubted there were worthwhile incentives for clandestine business to relocate to Cambodia.

"I think that irrespective of what people perceive, it's 80 percent good, 20 percent bad," he said. "But everyone is focusing on the sexy subjects. Our progress [in intellectual property] hasn't been too bad for a country that has come out of nowhere."

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that