video vendors are facing a new crackdown by authorities, who warn the sale of
pirated copies CDs or DVDs will lead to jail or fines.
"We will not allow the illegal CDs and DVDs to be sold
in Cambodian markets," said Kong Kang Dara, director of the cinema
secretariat of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. "We must strengthen
the Cambodian intellectual property law and promote the protection of intellectual
Kong Kang Dara is a member of a newly formed joint committee
comprised of authorities from the ministries of Interior, Defense, Justice,
Women's Affairs, and Culture. The committee met with more than 250 vendors
Friday to warn them of the impending crackdown.
Under a national subdecree, vendors who are caught selling
pirated material will first face a fine of $2.70 per illegal disc. Those who
don't comply will face the courts, under an intellectual property law that
allows for one year in jail and a fine of $5,250.
"We will use secret, strong and clear tactics to
confiscate the illegal CDs and DVDs, because it is a necessary time to promote
legal products and innovation," Kong Kang Dara said.
Leu Siv, a CD and DVD shop owner at Central Market, said she
had heard the crackdown was coming and had stopped selling illegal copies for
fear of facing fines. Asked whether the crackdown would hurt her business, she
Lay Sokhok, chief of Sunday Production, which produces
karaoke and music CDs and DVDs, welcomed the official crackdown.
His company loses at least $200,000 per year in sales due to
pirated copies of his work in Cambodian markets, he said.
is facing a 2013 deadline from the World Trade Organization to eliminate the
sale of pirated content.
has more than 1,000 stalls that sell pirated versions of movies, karaoke and
music, Kong Kang Dara said, but that number does not include mobile vendors who
move from place to place boxes of pirated goods.
Authorities confiscate more than 10,000 illegal CDs and DVDs
per year, he said.