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InsiderTAPS (January 2002)

Insider TAPS Issue 02 - Crackdown on Downloadable Songs for Mobile Phones

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The Recording Industry Association of Malaysia (RIM) is coming down hard on illegal “over-the-counter” sales of full-song downloads to mobile phones. RIM will be cooperating with the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (MDTCA) to conduct raids against vendors of these illegal downloadable songs across the nation. RIM’s first successful raid was conducted in KipMart Tampoi in Johor 2006.

With technological advancement, pirates now have a new modus operandi: to download full songs from computers (PCs or laptops) to mobile phones of customers via Bluetooth, Infrared or USB cable, for a small fee of RM3 per song.

RIM estimates that the music industry will suffer a loss of RM36 million a year, if 20% of the 18 million mobile phone subscribers in Malaysia were to spend RM10 a year on illegal song downloads.

There are currently approximately 3,000 vendors nationwide selling illegal downloads, mostly in shopping complexes or pasar malam (night markets). Under the Copyright Act 1987, the penalty for the offence of copyright infringement carries a fine of RM2,000 to RM40,000, or up to 10 years imprisonment, or both.

To provide an avenue for legitimate downloading of songs for mobile phones, which is currently the rage particularly amongst the younger users, RIM is working with its members and partners to set up more licensed kiosks.