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Movie-downloads to overtake other vice activities

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GEORGE TOWN  –  The business of pirated disc sellers are apparently being hit by another illegal activity.

Penang police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi said there had been a decrease in demand for such discs as the public were downloading movies online illegally.

He said this was reflected by the fewer number of pirated discs seized by police in Penang in 17 months under an operation codenamed Ops Ostrich.

Police confiscated 200,514 pirated VCDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs, worth RM1.42mil, in 320 seizures from July last year until last month, which was lower compared to a previous operation which netted 430,113 pirated discs.

DCP Abdul Rahim said 293 people were arrested during Ops Ostrich, adding that among the places the seizures were made were at makeshift stalls on roadsides and at night markets. The seized discs were sold for between RM6 and RM18 each.

He said some members of syndicates which sold these discs were triad members as well and urged the public to inform the police if they come across any sale of pirated discs.

“The public are advised not to buy pirated discs as it is an offence to even have them,” he said after the destruction of the 200,514 discs at the state police headquarters here yesterday

Under Section 41(1) of the Copyright Act, those found in possession of pirated VCD/DVD can be fined between RM2,000 and RM20,000 for each infringing copy. They can also be jailed up to five years.

For a repeated offence, the fine is between RM4,000 and RM40,000 for each infringing copy while the maximum jail term is 10 years.  -thestar