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Cablegate: Wiping Out Music Piracy in Brunei

VZCZCXYZ0009
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBD #0204 2400206
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 280206Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4628
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 2073

UNCLAS BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN 000204

SIPDIS

STATE PASS FOR EAP/MTS/COPPOLAMG, EEB/TPP/IPE/URBANJ
STATE PASS USTR/EHLERSK
STATE PASS FOR USPTO
BANGKOK FOR FCS/NESSJ


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KIPR ETRD ECON EINV USTR BX

SUBJECT: WIPING OUT MUSIC PIRACY IN BRUNEI

SUMMARY
--------
1. (SBU) Following in the footsteps of Microsoft, Recording Industry
Malaysia (RIM) recently announced their permanent presence in
Brunei. They addressed the lack of right holder's physical presence
often cited by the Government of Brunei (GOB) as a deterrent in
their efforts to put an end to rampant optical media piracy in
Brunei. Following months of negotiations and cooperation with the
Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) and the Royal Brunei Police Force,
RIM held a press conference where they announced their presence and
intention; to eradicate up to 90% of music piracy in Brunei in the
next 3 months, with the support of the two GOB agencies. End
Summary

RIM BLAZES INTO BRUNEI
----------------------
2. (SBU) During the press conference, RIM's NK Tan informed the
media, RIM is here to stay. Their permanent officers will visit
music pirate outlets and lodge police reports every day for
infringed goods. Tan stated despite written notifications of
infringement to vendors in November 2008, only 10% of the vendors
had complied six months later. Tan stated RIM's permanent presence
is an indication of their commitment to fight music piracy together
with the GOB. Tan stated RIM identified several foreign (and one
local) syndicates operating illegal copying businesses. Information
on the pirates was then handed over via sealed envelope marked
'Brunei Pirates' to a representative of the AGC. Press reporters
were later led to a nearby store by Tan to highlight the extent of
music piracy in the country. A raid was also carried out by the
Police and details are forthcoming from the appropriate Police
officials.

COMMENT
---------
3. (SBU) The press conference was well covered by all media present
including national news on radio and television. Subsequent public
opinions published in the papers indicated most would buy original
products 'if it's worth it.' A local entertainer supported the
move, recognizing the importance of IPR for local performers. The
online community posted mixed reactions. Less than half of bloggers
supported original products, whereas others see the presence of RIM
as interference in Brunei by a Malaysian organization. Comments
were also made on whether the pirated goods would resurface after
this publicity blitz. (Note: In the past, shelves of pirated CDs
were cleared in advance of raids due to information leakages, only
to reappear a few days later. End note) Post Commercial Assistant
and other Embassy Staff noted pirated music CDs were absent in
several stores in the vicinity of the capital within hours of the
press conference. Several days later, the same stores did not have
new original music CDs on sale, indicating they are possibly
adopting a wait and see attitude, apparently unwilling to purchase
products from RIM. Vendors appeared reluctant to work with RIM due
to pricing, perceiving RIM's comeback as their chance to recover
lost revenue from Brunei in the past decade.

TODD

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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