Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Time runs out for pirated video CDs

Time runs out for pirated video CDs

Time runs out for pirated video CDs

time.jpg
time.jpg

The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts (MoCFA) has announced that vendors of

pirated video CDs (VCDs) will be prosecuted from the beginning of May. MoCFA has

ordered vendors nationwide to attach a sticker to each pirated VCD warning that

it will be illegal to buy or sell them after April 30. Enforcement will leave

vendors of music and video discs across the country facing

bankruptcy.

As good as it got, traders and buyers of pirated movies will soon be grumbling. The sticker on this VCD marks it as pirated.

One trader said 90 percent of his stock was pirated since

most Cambodians were too poor to afford originals, which cost around ten times

as much. He said he had incurred extra costs buying the visa stamps (used to

indicate an original disc) and non-visa stamps (for pirated discs). Most of his

pirated stock, he said, came from China, Malaysia and Thailand.

"My

customers only look for cheap, copied VCDs," he said. "Many traders in Cambodia,

including myself, will close down if the government follows this strict

policy."

Som Sokun, director of the cinema and cultural diffusion

department at MoCFA, said the ministry had printed thousands of non-visa stamps.

Around 40,000 have been sold to vendors.

"After the deadline expires we

will confiscate their stock," said Sokun. "If CD stall owners violate the order,

we will fine them 7,500-to-60,000 riel for each VCD. Repeat offenders will face

penalties in the courts."

The government first cracked down on breaches

of intellectual property last July when the owner of a pirating plant was fined

$700,000. Sokun said the government had since invited stall and shop owners to

learn about copyright law. He said they were also urged to import only legal

VCDs and CDs. Sokun said the government would move first against pirated VCDs

before combating pirated music CDs.

One reason for the govern-ment's

vigor, Sokun said, was to combat the decline of Khmer culture: local karaoke

discs are regularly pirated within days of their release. The other was to

ensure the country could join the World Trade Organization, which has strict

rules to protect intellectual property.

"I hope that enforcement of the

intellectual property rights laws will encourage Cambodians to produce more

Khmer cultural films and music, and curb the inflow of pirated VCDs from

abroad," said Sokun.

By the end of 2002 Cambodia should have enacted

three separate laws to protect intellectual property: the copyright law, the

trademark law, and the patent law.

Sim Sarak, director-general of

administration and finance at MoCFA, said the copyright law had been drafted and

was currently with the interministerial committee of the Council of

Ministers.

He expected the National Assembly would pass the copyright law

by the end of the year. The Assembly approved the trademark law December 2001,

while the patent law, he said, was with the Assembly's commission but was not

yet on the legislative agenda.

MOST VIEWED

  • Time to avert disastrous Covid situation: officials

    The Covid-19 situation in Cambodia is heading towards further large-scale community transmission as the total number of confirmed cases is nearing 61,000 and the death toll passed 900 on July 10, senior health officials warned. Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine expressed concern that the country was going

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Baby saved as mother is lost to Covid

    Newborn baby Neth David has had a rough start in the world. His mother, Vong Daneth, was seven months pregnant when she contracted a severe case of Covid-19. When it became clear to her doctors that she would not survive, they performed a cesarean section

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • Hun Sen: Get 12-17 age group ready for Covid jabs

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has told parents of children aged 12-17 in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal and Preah Sihanouk to get them ready for vaccinations soon. “There is a need to vaccinate children and youths aged 12 to 17. According to the statistics provided