Malaysia: Anti-piracy effort draws support from Trade Director

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Image source: AVIA CAP

Thanks to modern site blocking requirements put in place by regulators in Malaysia, video piracy in Malaysia has come down dramatically over the course of the past year.

Soon after Piracy Monitor reported on this, we were surprised and delighted to receive further details from Mr. Neil Gane, the General Manager of the Coalition Against Piracy (CAP), an initiative by the Asia Video Industry Alliance.

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“Prior to a 2019 Digital Anti-Piracy Summit organised by CAP, Malaysia’s Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (MDTCA) and the Malaysian pay TV operator ASTRO, the Malaysian regulatory site blocking process involved two Ministries and was a lengthy referral protocol,” said Mr. Gane.

As a direct result of this 2019 event, and subsequent lobbying efforts by ASTRO and CAP, the Malaysia government made the following changes to their administrative site blocking regime:

  1. A fast-tracked and streamlined process was established and placed under one Ministry, the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (MDTCA)
  2. MDTCA (Digital Forensics Unit) was designated to accept referrals from rights holders and process within a stipulated time-period before issuing blocking orders to ISPs. All ISPs to comply with the government blocking order within 48 hours, and.
  3. The Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)  – the telco regulator – to be notified of all blocks and be responsible to ensure ISP compliance.

Reporting by Malaysia’s The Star quoted Datuk Iskandar Halim Sulaiman,the enforcement director of Indonesia’s Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) Ministry; who said that the ministry would do everything possible to help copyright owners and platforms protect their content.

“With cooperation from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission and the telcos, we will continue blocking the sites as long as the copyright owners make their complaints to us, ” he added.

Read the article in The Star

Why it matters

This effort is another example of successful collaboration between stakeholders in government and industry, to reduce video piracy.

Malaysia’s modernized site blocking process is also part of a global trend toward modernizing the regulation of online commerce and media delivery.  In the US, a parallel effort is underway with the re-evaluation of the Notice and Takedown System by the US Copyright Office, which was part of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  In Europe, regulators are updating the legal framework for digital services there

Similar progress is underway in other Asian countries, but unlike Europe or the UK or the US, few countries have access to partnerships across multiple countries between law enforcement, regulators and the media industry.  “Anti-piracy strategies mult be crafted for each individual country, because every country is different,” noted Mr Gane.  AVIA is pursuing antipiracy initiatives in other south Asian countries, where partnerships are a work in progress.

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