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DVD, VCD piracy is worsening
[May 07, 2006]

DVD, VCD piracy is worsening


(The Nation (Thailand) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)US studio heads to discuss issue in Bangkok

Up to 60 per cent of DVD and VCD movies sold in Thailand are pirated, mainly due to illegal copies flooding in from neighbouring countries, according to Tienchai Pinvises, executive director of the Motion Picture Association (Thailand).

Despite government attempts to stamp out such criminal activities, Pinvises said, the number of people producing illegal copies of movies is on the rise.

According to the association's report, about 1,500 movie titles were illegally reproduced and sold in Thailand last year, compared to 1,100 in 2004.

Pinvises was speaking ahead of a major meeting of leading motion-picture manufacturers in Thailand on Monday to discuss violations of intellectual-property rights in Southeast Asia.

Leading US companies at the meeting include Columbia Picture Industries Inc, Disney Enterprises Inc, Paramount Picture Corporation, Tri-Star Pictures Inc, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Universal Studios and Warner Bros Entertainment. The companies' representatives will also meet the Thailand Commerce Ministry.



The agenda of the meeting includes an estimation of intellectual-property infringement country by country and a discussion of ways to combat piracy. Pinvises said manufacturers were also creating measures to protect intellectual property rights on the Internet (in other words, preventing people from downloading songs or movies from websites).

According to Pinvises, the DVD pirating scene in Thailand is getting worse because some illegal-movie manufacturers have moved their factory bases into neighbouring countries and now export to Thailand.


"This kind of violation has dramatically affected the US motion-picture business," he said, adding that the illegal products were now mostly in the form of DVDs.

He added that anyone caught flouting copyright law would be charged and brought to court.

The way illegal VCDs and DVDs are made is changing, Pinvises said, using computer programmes more than machines.

Since Thailand has a compact disc (CD) copyright law for controlling CD manufacturing, CD-producers are now also relying more on computers, which apart from greater convenience reduce the risk of getting caught, he said.

This change has made it more difficult to clamp down on illegal production, Pinvises said, adding that officials had to closely monitor the fast pace of change in piracy. Deputy Commerce Minister Preecha Laohapongchana said the production of pirate copies of Hollywood VCDs and DVDs had been reduced by 80 per cent this year but was still a problem because of the flow of illegal products from neighbouring countries.

"The government will tighten its already stringent control of illegal-movie production because intellectual-property violation is destroying our country's image," he said.

The ministry reported 1,656 cases of intellectual-property infringement with the seizing of 489,762 items in the first two months of this year. Of these, 1,095 cases broke copyright law and 561 broke trademark law.

Petchanet Pratruangkrai

The Nation

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