Recording Industry Welcomes Use Of Anti-Piracy Forensics By Thai Government
Thai authorities received a boost in their fight against music and film piracy when the U.S. government handed over an integrated forensic system designed with assistance from IFPI, representing the recording industry worldwide.
The technology has been used by IFPI and the MPA, representing the American film industry, to successfully detect copyright infringing disc production in 17 countries since 2000. Malaysia is the only other Asian country to have such a capability modeled on the IFPI/MPA process, and use of the technology there has resulted in the filing of criminal cases and license revocations across the country.
The new equipment will enable the Thai authorities to identify the manufacturing sources of pirate product originating from local optical disc factories or elsewhere.
All Thai government agencies engaged in optical disc anti-piracy activity will be able to use the facility to track pirate manufacturing sources. The equipment will be operated by the Royal Thai Police's Forensic Division under the command of Police Lieutenant-General Ukrit Patchimsawat, deputy commissioner of Police.
This new forensic programme will benefit all industries using optical disc formats in Thailand, including software and gaming companies. Such developments will also promote and protect the future of Thailand's own legitimate disc manufacturing industry with all the employment and revenue opportunities such a growing sector provides.
The ability of the forensic unit to effectively identify pirate discs made in Thailand and elsewhere is reliant on the well-established, excellent inter-agency cooperation between the Royal Thai Police and the Department of Intellectual Property, which will be further enhanced as a result of this joint endeavour.
A specialist unit of the Department of Intellectual Property, headed by deputy director-general, Mr Banyong Limprayoonwong has, since February this year, worked with the Royal Thai Police and industry trade associations, including IFPI and MPA, to provide essential support services for the forensic laboratory unit. These services include training, supporting formal visits to all licensed Thai Plants as well as information and exhibit exchanges.
The new equipment comprises a Nikon optical microscope, an automated stage and a high resolution camera custom-built to enable the examination of optical discs. The system comes packaged with state-of-the-art imaging software and represents a US$52,000 investment.
IFPI's Asia Regional Director Mayseey Leong said: "IFPI welcomes the cooperation between the US Government, Thai Authorities and the private sector in using state of the art scientific investigative tools to bring to justice major pirates. This forensic technology is a proven and effective weapon in tackling pirate disc manufacturing which, together with the Optical Disc Production Act passed last year, positions the Thai Government at the forefront of anti-piracy enforcement, not only regionally, but globally. IFPI will continue to support Thailand's enforcement agencies in their ongoing anti-piracy efforts, particularly with IFPI's own forensic capabilities based at the IFPI Secretariat in London."
"The MPA and our member companies are pleased and encouraged by the focus that the Thai government has given to anti-piracy and intellectual property rights protection", adds Mike Ellis, Senior Vice President and Regional Director, Asia-Pacific for the Motion Picture Association. "Optical disc forensic analysis is an important tool in the fight against intellectual property theft, which so badly damages creative industries and the people who rely on those industries for their livelihoods. The MPA looks forward to continuing our close cooperation with the government of Thailand and our industry partners in the areas of both anti-piracy enforcement and intellectual property rights education."
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