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Fighting piracy

June 4, 2008

“100 Per Cent Of DVD/VCD Here Are Pirated” said the Borneo Bulletin today. The headline really hit me that I read the story first.

Down the line, the headline was actually picking up a quote from a comment made by one Jennie Ness, a Regional Intellectual Property expert who made her own random survey around Brunei. She said: ‘…almost 100 percent of VCDs and DVDs sold in Brunei are pirated.’

To quote some more from the news:

“ In May 2008, the Recording Industry Association of Malaysia (RIM) with the International Federation of Phonographic Industries (IFPI) made the latest survey in Brunei Darussalam where they found out that seven outlets where they have previously investigated in 2005 are found to be still selling 100 per cent pirated products.

Counterfeiting and piracy cost the US economy between $200 and $250 billion a year and the world economy nearly $650 billion a year.

Of the pirated products (both Malaysian and international content), it is estimated that 65 per cent comprise movies, 30 per cent is made up of music recordings and 10 per cent is of games and computer software. It is evident that not only piracy is of epidemic proportions in Brunei, but also that the products are more than likely produced locally in Brunei, RIM stated. ”

So, how rampant piracy is in Brunei? Very I would say. Bruneians know where to look for when it comes to buying the latest movie or song, sometimes even when a movie is not being launched world-wide yet. You can buy a CD or DVD for as low as Br$0.50 or up to Br$8.00. And the quality, I guess you can judge from the price.

I have asked the local authority on why they didn’t just ambush those shops selling fake or pirated copies of CDs and DVDs. Their answer: they cant because only when the rightful owner, for example the producer, made a complaint or report to them and then only they can act.

I can understand why artists would stand up and voice their anger and disappointment when it comes to piracy. Who would benefit if not these pirates? For Brunei, I have seen many aspiring and young Brunei artists through live performance and some even put up in the websites.

The sad thing is that their own songs which they put up in such sites would not be protected and may be even copied and produced without them knowing. So, my advice – whatever inventions or creations or even ideas that you have, please have them registered as your own before someone else claim that they are theirs.

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