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06BANGKOK5075 NEW ANTI-PIRACY MOU BRINGS MALLS INTO THE FIGHT

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“75348”,”8/18/2006 10:26″,”06BANGKOK5075″,

“Embassy Bangkok”,”UNCLASSIFIED”,

“06BANGKOK3477″,”VZCZCXYZ0011

RR RUEHWEB

 

DE RUEHBK #5075 2301026

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

R 181026Z AUG 06

FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1048

RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC”,”UNCLAS BANGKOK 005075

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

STATE PASS USTR

USDOC FOR JKELLY, SWILSON

USDOC PASS USPTO

 

E.O. 12958:N/A

TAGS: ECON, KIPR, TH

SUBJECT: NEW ANTI-PIRACY MOU BRINGS MALLS INTO THE FIGHT

 

REF: BANGKOK 3477

 

1. Summary: On August 16, 39 representatives from Thai law

enforcement, government, IP rights holders and retail establishments

signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on prevention and

suppression of intellectual property piracy. Owners of malls where

pirated goods are widely available have been brought in under the

MOU for the first time and given duties and responsibilities for

preventing sales of illegal merchandise by lease holders in their

establishments. The new MOU is a modest step forward in IPR

enforcement, but rights holders consider it an important one. End

Summary.

 

2. The new MOU replaces a June 2004 MOU, and is based largely on

the earlier version. The MOU sets out responsibilities for IPR

owners, law enforcement, local authorities and the RTG Department of

Intellectual Property, and for the first time owners of noted retail

establishments where pirated products are sold. Retailers were

hesitant to sign earlier drafts of the MOU, recognizing that the MOU

delineated a number of duties and responsibilities for them but no

apparent benefits. Mall owners had stated concerns over liability

issues, and managed to include a clause holding rights holders

responsible for compensation for damages if a shop\’s lease was found

to have been unjustly terminated for piracy. In the end, only one

mall owner, MBK, declined to sign the MOU.

 

3. Rights holders applauded the MOU\’s inclusion of store owners,

signifying it as an important step in encouraging cooperation from

malls that have traditionally turned a blind eye to piracy.

However, they recognized that implementation would be a different

story and have realistic expectations on how much can be

accomplished. Nevertheless, movie and recording industry reps said

they planned to follow carefully the MOU\’s provisions and hold mall

owners to their commitments. The Motion Picture Association\’s local

rep suggested that recalcitrant mall owners could be brought up on

conspiracy charges for aiding sales of illegal merchandise if they

failed to cooperate.

 

4. The MOU is also notable for its inclusion of the Department of

Special Investigations (DSI) (similar to the U.S. FBI), and the

Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA), which has responsibility over

street vendors. DSI has shown enthusiasm in taking on IPR

infringement cases, but BMA expressed doubts over its limitations in

controlling street sales of pirated goods. Its commitment to the

MOU is questionable, but as with retailers, rights holders are happy

to have them under the same tent.

 

So much for cleaning the streets

——————————–

 

5. RTG plans to sweep the streets clean of piracy for June and July

in celebration of the King\’s 60th year on the throne (reftel) were a

bust. With the exception of one week when all street vendors,

including fruit carts and craft vendors, were kept off the streets

no concerted efforts against piracy took place. After the one week

break, pirate retailers returned to the streets in force with no

apparent impact on sales.

 

6. Ironically, on August 1, the day after the special enforcement

period had ended, police made their biggest seizure of the year,

raiding two houses and netting 300,000 pirated CDs and DVDs. A

hapless employee who drove up to one of the houses as the raid began

had his Toyota SUV seized as well as a thousand discs found inside

the vehicle. Altogether police seized 42,191 music CDs and 35,465

movie DVDS. The rest of the booty was \”series movies\” including

sets of TV series \”Lost\”, \”24\”, and popular Korean soap operas.

BOYCE

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Written by thaicables

July 13, 2011 at 5:24 am

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