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Cablegate: Brunei Musicians Acknowledge Importance of Copyright

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DE RUEHBD #0209 2470707
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 040707Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4635
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 2075

UNCLAS BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN 000209

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: BRUNEI MUSICIANS ACKNOWLEDGE IMPORTANCE OF COPYRIGHT
PROTECTION

SUMMARY
--------
1. (SBU) Local music composers and lyricists recently met with the
International Confederation of Authors and Composers (CISAC) to
discuss the establishment of a collective management organization
(CMO). The CMO will manage and protect the copyright of players in
the local music industry by collecting royalties for their music
played for commercial use. Establishment of the CMO is further
indication of the collective efforts of USPTO, USTR and the fast
moving boots on the ground efforts of US Embassy mission personnel
to improve overall Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in Brunei. End
Summary

BENEFIT TO BRUNEI MUSICIANS
---------------------------
2. (SBU) Fathan Anwar, a well-known local composer and producer, is
spearheading the drive for the establishment of the CMO. A lawyer
by profession, and former magistrate, Fathan is well-poised to
pioneer the set-up of the CMO. With the support of the Attorney
General's Chambers (AGC), Fathan chaired the inaugural meeting where
CISAC's Regional Director, Kwee Tiang Ang, provided guidelines on
steps towards the setup of a Brunei CMO under the umbrella of CISAC.
Ang stated that aside from the financial benefit to local
musicians, the CMO would ensure their copyrights are protected
locally and abroad. This in turn will boost the growth of the music
industry in Brunei and encourage more talented Bruneians to venture
into full-time careers as composers and songwriters. Both Ang and
Fathan agreed that a major hurdle would be persuading local users to
pay royalties for songs and music that previously available at no
charge. Fathan further stated that government support is crucial
for the CMO as most of local music is broadcast by the national
radio and television channels. Several local artists and composers
expressed their support for the CMO where they will be rightly
compensated for their work. They see the CMO as a positive effort
to protect local musicians.

COMMENT
---------
3. (SBU) While the move to establish a CMO is lauded as a positive
move for the protection of the local music industry, implementation
of copyright enforcement has to be carried out smoothly. This
sudden change may create a socio-economic impact on the population.
Recording Industry Malaysia (RIM) recently publicized their
intention to eradicate music piracy in Brunei. Cheap CDs are off
the shelves. Mobile phone content providers have RIM (and
eventually Brunei CMO one would guess) knocking on their doors
demanding royalties for ringtones. The government funded radio
stations (RTB) and private station (Kristal) will have to bear
additional costs of royalties for music and songs, which are
currently broadcast on air for free. Already faced with increased
CD prices, possible future increased cost of ringtone downloads and
radio subscriptions, the public may react by resorting to a
different level of music piracy: web download and file-to-file
sharing.

TODD

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