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Tuesday, October 17, 2006
MPA Shuts Malaysian Websites That Sold Pirated Movies

On October 12 officers from Malaysia?s Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (MDTCA), accompanied by Motion Picture Association (MPA) representatives, raided two premises in Penang linked to four pirate websites, arresting three suspects.

The websites had been under investigation for weeks by MPA Internet specialists in Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles and Sydney, and the raids turned up evidence suggesting that the operators had raked in tens of thousands of dollars a month shipping pirated optical discs to customers in the United States, South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Pirate discs sold on Malaysian web sites typically go for between US$5-9 per disc, with TV series box sets sold for between US$30?40.

Malaysia is a significant exporter of pirate optical discs around the world, with pirate exporters increasingly marketing and selling their illegal goods via websites, some hosted remotely in other countries. In response to the shift by pirates to this model, the country?s law enforcement agencies have stepped up efforts to interdict outbound parcels containing pirated optical discs, seizing 4,944 parcels containing 19,776 pirated DVDs from September 8-October 12 alone.

Over the past seven months, ten websites selling pirated discs globally have been raided and shut down in Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru and Penang, with the owners prosecuted.

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