Developing a Vibrant Digital Ecosystem for Malaysia’s Creators
On October 10th, content creators and distributors from the local film and television sectors joined government officials to attend a one-day focus discussion in Kuala Lumpur entitled ‘Developing a Vibrant Digital Ecosystem for Malaysia’s Creators’ held at Menara The Star.
Organized by the Centre for Content Promotion (CCP) and the Communications and Multimedia Content Forum of Malaysia (CMCF), the conference highlighted recent international developments in online governance, including a regional overview by CCP Founding Director and Counsel, Frank Rittman, highlighting legislative momentum in support of site blocking while noting concern about the continued proliferation of illicit streaming devices and their impact on content providers and pay-TV operators.
Former UK Parliamentarian and IP Adviser to the Prime Minister, Mike Weatherley, gave a keynote address identifying ‘Best Practices from the United Kingdom’, detailing a series of reports he authored on proposals for online governance reform that have all since been adopted there and served as models for similar initiatives in other jurisdictions.
Dato Norman Abdul Halim, President of the local Film Producers Association, exhorted government officials in attendance to take heed of rights owners’ concerns and to maintain their resolve to disrupt online infringement, citing the results of recent enforcement actions undertaken by the authorities in Malaysia. Research examining six waves of site blocking order there between May 2014 and January 2017 showed an average 70% decline in traffic to the pirate sites involved following each wave of action.
The afternoon session included the announcement by representatives from the Motion Picture Association and the Malaysian Media Specialists Association of a new private sector ‘Infringing Website List’ initiative intended to address online piracy by disrupting the flow of advertising revenues to pirate website operators. The announcement came on the heels of similar initiatives undertaken elsewhere throughout the region in 2017, in markets including Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
Other Government representatives in attendance who spoke up during the open discussion session included officials from the Royal Malaysian Police, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, the Malaysia Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia, and the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism.