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Cablegate: Thai Musicians and Actors Protest Ip Violations, Police

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DE RUEHBK #0419 0390746
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 080746Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1760
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS BANGKOK 000419

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

STATE PASS USTR
USDOC FOR 4430/EAP/MAC/OKSA

E.O. 12958:N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD KIPR TH

SUBJECT: THAI MUSICIANS AND ACTORS PROTEST IP VIOLATIONS, POLICE
ENFORCEMENT

1. (U) Over 300 representatives of local rights holders from the
music and movie industries recently staged a protest in front of the
Plab Pla Chai police station in Bangkok. IP protestors targeted
that station as it oversees the district with the highest
concentration of wholesale and retail piracy sales in Bangkok.
Rights holders protested the performance of Police Major General
Apichart Chuathate who had earlier promised removal of pirated goods
from notorious piracy markets of Klong Tom, Ban Mor and Saphan Lek
within his police district. The protest followed on two earlier
demonstrations last November at the same police station. Police
officials, including General Apichart, met with rights holders after
the earlier protests and denied allegations at the time that police
officers were accepting bribes from retailers of pirated products.
Police promised to crack down harder on piracy but complained they
could only act on complaints from rights holders. In response,
rights holders ensured all members of the industry associations had
complaints on file with the police, but said they still saw no
improvement in enforcement.

2. (U) Mr. Suthisak Prasartkrukarn, Secretary-General of the Thai
Music Industry Association claimed the piracy situation had actually
worsened in the past few months, identifying 350 shops selling
pirated goods versus only 20 selling legitimate product in those
areas. To bring the point home, protestors set up a large screen TV
displaying a live broadcast of customers purchasing pirated products
in the Klong Tom market, a sprawling area selling cheap electronic
goods along with a large number of pirated movies and music, located
only 500 yards down the street from the police station. After the
protest, piracy sales reportedly dropped off significantly in many
of the street stalls selling bootleg movies and music in Klong Tom
and other markets within the police district. Retailers said police
had asked them to hold off on sales "for a while."

3. (SBU) The local representative for the Motion Picture
Association said representatives of the music and movie industries
were looking forward to a February 12 meeting with newly inaugurated
PM Samak Sundravej. Scheduled as a congratulatory call, industry
members planned to discuss the IPR situation as well. The
delegation would be led by local industry but would include
international rights holders. The group is considering requesting
PM Samak to transfer Police General Apichart but had yet to decide
whether to broach the topic. MPA's representative suspected that
the recent dropoff in sales of pirated products was directly related
to next week's meeting with the PM.
JOHN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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