Friday, February 16, 2007

Are the pirates *really* gone?

This particular piece of news sounded a little alarm in my head. I wonder if it's really true that the pirates had been wiped out. As with other anti-piracy operations, it is more likely that the pirates had just gone to ground temporarily. They will most likely reappear fairly soon.

Firstly, let us consider the fact that a mere 28 people had been arrested. I'm fairly certain that, there were more than 28 people peddling pirated media, the last time I was in the area. In Low Yat alone, there were probably more than 28 people on a single floor. Anyhow, the people manning the stalls are the lowly peons, which can be easily replaced.

Secondly, a paltry RM 2.3 million worth of stuff was seized. According to the article, that's 38,668 software, 1,230 VCDs, 530 DVDs, 11,646 CDs, 151,263 games and nine vehicles. Okay, now I want to laugh. 530 DVDs??? This doesn't even sound remotely feasible to anyone who's been there before.

So, the only way that this operasi could be considered a remote success is if was targeted at stalls that sold computer software and console games. At least they had managed to grab almost 190k worth of software. Now, the government gets to trumpet their 'victory' for the world to see.

So, for the moment, I would say that the pirates will be back. This is obviously nothing but a small setback for them. The peons are replaceable. The stock was hardly touched. The distribution channels are still in tact. The damage done is nothing but an itch.

But, I've always been telling friends that Malaysia will sooner or later *have* to crack down on software piracy. We will need to do it for our Multimedia Super Corridor project and to encourage more local development of software and content industries. This is essentially what India did as well. So, don't assume that pirated software will *always* be available in Malaysia.

1 comment:

Dan said...

hahaha. the government has a sense of humour. i'm pretty sure there still are pirates operating even now. i'm not sure if this is really trumpeting their victory or just proving that they have very bad intelligence (information sources: HUMINT or ELINT)