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Thursday, June 26, 2003
Malaysia plans to cut disc prices to curb piracy

Malaysia plans to fight copyright piracy by controlling prices of original movie, music and software discs to make them as affordable as illegal copies, a government official said Thursday.

The government is due to meet copyrights owners next month to discuss placing CDs, VCDs and DVDs under Malaysia's Price Control Act, which currently only governs prices of food and essential items.

Malaysia is a hot market for pirated discs. Pirated VCDs and DVDs of Hollywood films sell for around $3, compared to originals that cost up to $10. Games and the latest office software from companies such as Microsoft go for $1.50.

But copyright owners said curbing their prices was not the answer.

"We will make ourselves an international pariah by doing this," said a senior Malaysian recording industry official.

"It's like asking luxury goods makers to reduce prices because there are so many fakes out there."

Consumer groups have repeatedly asked for lower prices of original discs to discourage piracy.

Police recently seized over two million illegal entertainment and software discs with a street value of about $6 million.

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