In the past week, you may have noticed that piracy, counterfeiting and Intellectual Property (IP) infringement has been in the news – Minister Datuk Mohd Shafie Apdal has committed to host the Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy next year; Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail is concerned that IP Infringement is killing our creativity and Recording Industry Association of Malaysia (RIM) estimates the cost of piracy to the local music industry to be RM100mil per year!
Counterfeits and piracy are not new to Malaysians – in fact the existence of Petaling Street, mobile VCD vendors that ply food courts in the evening and Imbi Plaza make it part of our day to day lives. The average Malaysian does not see what the big fuss is about because they don’t see how the $$$ affect their pockets…if anything, it makes their money go further. RM9 for a DVD which you can watch in the comfort of your home with 5 friends versus RM12 per person to go to the cinema…the math speaks for itself.
The government is doing its best but unless the public (ie taxpayers) are educated as to how piracy affects them (personally) and the nation as a whole, we will not be solving the problem at its roots.
I wonder whether the average taxpayer is aware that in supporting the pirate industry and buying counterfeit goods, they are ultimately the losing party?
Do we realize that in view of intense local and international pressure to curb piracy, our government is forced to conduct extensive and on-going raids – funded by us, the taxpayer! Lower tax revenue from legitimate sales ultimately means that funding for education, healthcare and public amenities is reduced. Again, who suffers? The taxpayer!
The public needs to be aware of the fact that the counterfeit products they purchase is sustaining an underground industry – and therefore ultimately directly funding an industry that engages in drugs, weapons, prostitution and other illegal activities. Crime and criminal activities cause untold evils and result in an unsafe environment for us and our families. We complain that the police do not respond quickly and effectively to crime and yet how can they when resources are stretched curbing illegal activities that we are funding?
Now isn’t that something worth thinking about?
Posted by:Renuka Sena on 24/11/2005 3:01:12 PM