Karaoke has been singled out early on as a key culprit, contributing to the most significant losses from national piracy-related crimes, out of the over-MYR2m figures calculated as of 2014.
With copyright infringement and piracy crackdowns being strengthened in 2015 by the local music industry, led by the official governing association, the Recording Industry Association of Malaysia (RIM).
Joints unlicensed to use minus-one music and public performance of lyrics directly amount to large amounts of lost profits, especially felt by performers and songwriters with more extensive catalogues such as Recording Performers Malaysia Berhad (RPM) president Datuk Sheila Majid, Amy Search and Datuk Dr. M. Nasir to name just a few.
This is not to mention the hundreds of composers and pro musicians directly involved in the production of the Malaysia’s most well-known and evergreen pop music back catalogues, and the time for retribution on the part of the music industry is high.
Formal Release: First Quarter Raids in Miri and Johor Baru Are Just The Beginning
Following up on a successful seizure in Miri, at the end of May an enforcement team comprising of 8 officers from the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumerism and Cooperatives (MDTCC) raided a karaoke outlet in Johor Baru for the illegal use of sound, music video and /or karaoke recordings belonging to the Recording Industry Association of Malaysia (RIM).
The officers from the MDTCC were accompanied by officers from RIM, a member of the Special Anti-Piracy Task Force established under the Ministry.
During the raid, which started at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, officers seized various electronic equipment valued at RM50,000 including 2 servers, 5 CPU’s, 3 TV sets, 3 touch screen monitors, 3 microphones, 3 amplifiers, 2 computer monitors, 6 speakers, 4 cables sets and 2 computers.
The outlet was also found with 176,000 unlicensed recordings used by the outlet mainly for entertainment purposes comprising of local and international top hits belonging to/or controlled by RIM’s members.
Ramani Ramalingam, CEO of RIM: “RIM sees its co-operation in the enforcement of raid as a strong support to the Government’s efforts to combat copyright piracy by commercial users who use infringing copies/material in their businesses”.
“To safeguard and protect against such blatant infringement of RIM members’ rights, RIM has in the past taken and will continue to lodge complaints against entertainment outlets which use such infringing music for their businesses,” adds Ramani, an entertainment lawyer by trade and the incumbent president as of 2015.
If it is proven that the recordings used by the outlet are infringing, the outlet owner would have committed an offence under Section 41(1) of the Copyright Act, 1987 (“The Act”), for possessing copies of copyrighted works which has been made and/or reproduced without the authorization, consent or permission of the copyright owner other than for private and domestic use.
The minimum penalty under Section 41(1) of The Act is a fine of RM2,000 for each infringing copy and/or imprisonment for a term not less than 5 years or both.
Ramani estimated the loss to the industry from this outlet alone at more than RM0.5 million.
In Malaysia, the Recordings of RIM members may be licensed for commercial use via Public Performance Malaysia Sdn Bhd (PPM) a licensing body which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of RIM.
PPM was established in 1988 and recognized as a licensing body under the Copyright Act 1987. PPM’s duties are to issue licenses and collect royalties for, amongst others: public performance, reproduction, broadcast and commercial rental on behalf of RIM members.
Featured photo obtained from Huda Aulia and intended for display only.