Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rip-offs strike wrong chord

Rip-offs strike wrong chord

Music CDs from Town Production and M Production companies sit on a sales rack in Phnom Penh’s Kandal market
Music CDs from Town Production and M Production companies sit on a sales rack in Phnom Penh’s Kandal market yesterday. Hong Menea

Rip-offs strike wrong chord

Slapping Khmer song lyrics over international hits or ripping off the creative content of foreign-produced music videos is a practice in the Kingdom that must end within one year, Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts officials said at a conference in the capital yesterday.

A crackdown on those copying creative and intellectual property is designed to inspire Cambodians to create their own work, said Sin Chan Saya, a department director at the ministry.

“Our strategy is to push [Cambodian artists] to create and produce melodies, compositions and karaoke movies for themselves instead of copying others,” Saya said.

Cambodian copycats often repurpose the melody or composition of an international track along with the storyline and visual design of the accompanying music video, according to Chan Saya.

National artists, he added, have one year to kick the habit.

“In 2015, Cambodia will be a member of the World Trade Organization agreement, after we were suspended for three years because we didn’t properly eliminate the copyright violations,” he said.

International pressure to enforce the Kingdom’s copyright laws eased in June when the World Trade Organization agreed to extend a waiver that frees least developed countries (LDCs), including Cambodia, from cracking down on infringements for another eight years.

Commonly protected products include books, music, film and software – creative mediums that were all touched upon during the event.

The WTO move, proponents of the extension say, allows LDCs the continued opportunity to access technology that may otherwise be unaffordable through the protection of intellectual property laws.

Efforts to round up pirated DVDs will be under way in the next six months, according to Ung Nareth, president of the Motion Picture Association of Cambodia (MPAC), which he founded in June.

“Creative copyright crimes in Cambodia are happening all the time and it’s a real tragedy. The only way this will end is if the sellers are brought before the courts,” Nareth said, adding he was concerned over a lack of commitment from local production companies.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY AMELIA WOODSIDE

MOST VIEWED

  • Investors’ $14.4M projects approved

    New investments from local and foreign sources continue to pour into Cambodia despite the Covid-19 pandemic remaining a lingering threat to regional and global economies. This comes as the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract between one and 2.9 per cent this

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Rubber exports stretch 17%

    Cambodia exported 97,175 tonnes of natural rubber in the first five months of this year, surging 17 per cent compared to the same period last year as the Covid-19 pandemic stretches on, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries official Khuong Phalla told The Post on Thursday. Phalla,

  • ASEM supports Kingdom’s proposal to postpone meeting amid Covid

    The 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM13) scheduled to be held in Cambodia in November has been postponed until mid-2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation press statement released on Saturday said. The decision was made during a two-day meeting

  • Coffee maker roasted for producing fake product

    The Ministry of Interior’s Counter Counterfeit Committee will send a suspect to court on Monday after she allegedly roasted coffee mixed with soybeans and other ingredients, creating a product which could pose a high risk to consumers’ health. On the afternoon of July 2, the

  • Cash handout programme 80% complete

    Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation Vong Soth confirmed on Thursday that the implementation of the Cash Transfer Programme For Poor and Vulnerable Households During Covid-19 had been implemented for more than 80% of the over 560,000 families. The programme was introduced one week ago.

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Where is Cambodia’s exit strategy that can save the economy?

    With the prospect of being slammed by a double whammy, the government is working on an economic recovery plan to deliver it from Covid-19 and the EU’s partial withdrawal of the Everything But Arms scheme in the next two to three years Cambodia is

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.