If you download material illegally from the Internet, be prepared to fork out a minimum fine of RM250,000.
This is the warning from the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry to Malaysians who continue to illegally download songs, videos and the like.
Although this penalty was legislated more than 10 years ago under the Copyright Act, it has yet to be fully enforced.
This was because the Government was still focusing on “physical enforcement”, encompassing continuous efforts to weed out pirated DVDs, VCDs and CDs sold on the streets and their operators.
Deputy Minister Datuk S. Veerasingam said yesterday that while this remains their main priority, cracking down on Internet download offenders was also gaining momentum.
“For the past three years, we have seen a significant reduction in copyright pirates. This is due to the continuous efforts of our enforcement officers.
“We will also very soon make Internet download offenders our priority,” he said.
Veerasingam was speaking to reporters after opening the Wipo Asia-Pacific Regional Seminar on the Issues and Recent Developments of the Wipo Copyright Treaty and the Wipo Performances and Phonograms Treaty on behalf of the minister.
More than 75 participants from 11 countries are taking part in the three-day seminar.
Veerasingam said that the maximum fine for downloading material illegally from the Internet was a whopping RM500,000.