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The Malaysian consumer public continues to be shocked through the announcement from the Domestic Trade and Consumerism Ministry which they plan to penalize those who buy counterfeit DVDs and VCDs. The Domestic Trade and Consumerism Ministry has revealed that in order to combat the rampant sale of pirated DVDs and VCDs, they need to staunch the demand which can be carried out by punishing those that choose the products.

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The Domestic Trade and Consumerism Ministry (called Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri Dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna in Malay) exists to encourage ethical trade practices and also to protect consumer interest. The ministry's functions include managing matters linked to consumer protection and ip rights.

Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said recently that buyers of counterfeit DVDs and VCDs could possibly be fined up to 5 times the market price of the genuine products for each and every counterfeit item they had within their possession. The alteration in approach belly into effect when the proposed amendments of the Copyright Act were approved by Parliament.
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Detractors of the plan suggested that relying on penalising the buyer may well be a manifestation of desperation by the ministry, that have did not counteract the pirating syndicates before. Malaysia has had previous criminal syndicates engaging in large scale counterfeiting of movies and music discs as well as computer software. Much of this product was sold across the region and also exported to USA and Europe.

However, many consumers felt this approach was unfair and punishing consumers was the wrong way to take. Some declared the buying price of genuine DVDs and VCDs was too high plus they resorted to buying counterfeit copies instead. They urged the music activity and movie industries and government to operate to cut back the retail prices to lessen the need for fakes. Also, they reasoned, in the event the Ministry surely could catch a consumer who had bought some DVDs, then why couldn't they catch the vendor simultaneously?

But some agreed with the idea - after all, they thought, buyers of illegal prescription medication is punished so why don't you for DVDs as well?

As Ip rights be important as a good point to a company, the Ip holders would require via their associations and governments for more protection to avoid counterfeiting.


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