July 31, 2009
know your rights.
From the 23-26th of July I attended the First Module of a course at Istana Hotel. The topics covered were mainly on the area of Copyright under the subject Intellectual Property. To be very honest, when I was in Law School, I did not have an inkling of interest in this subject matter. Majorly, that was because it involved too many Statutes and there were way too many cases and subtopics to cover. But then, I came to realise that most of the things in our daily life involved Intellectual Property rights. And with an inquisitive father like mine, it was difficult to NOT know about these protections. Turns out that the Subject as a whole is one interesting albeit challenging subject.
So, hear me out for a bit. It might be worth your time.
I don’t know how many of you have received the email which warned people about the Enforcement confiscating burnt CDs from our cars, if we are found in possession of them. I did not receive it myself, but Adlin told me that they have begun operations.
And being me, I took her word and let it be. It was quite unlikely that I would be caught, not because I am so rich I can buy original, but simply, because I leave home at 6.30 a.m. everyday (police masih belum bangkit) and go back at peak hours (jam terlalu teruk, maka police jika buat roadblock memang mengundang suicide buat diri sendiri).
During the course, I was blessed to have met so many helpful senior members of the enforcement, who told me that they have not begun operations on private persons because it has yet been provided under the law.
It is true that the Copyright Act makes it an offence if you are found in possession of burnt CDs.
However, it only becomes an offence if you are found in possession of more than 2 burnt CDs at the time you are caught. Say, for example, I get Zee Avi’s CD and decide to rip the music and make a copy for Mama and Abduls. That would not be an offence. But if I make 3 copies or more, that would become an offence under the Act, as the presumption is that I am making profit from such activity.
But by that, I do not mean to say that it is the correct thing to do. Under the law, it is still considered an infringement because the right to copy and make copies is an exclusive right belonging to the author, publisher and producer of such music/movie. Say for example, Zee Avi discovers that I have been ripping her music and making copies for Mama and Abdul, she can still take civil action against me.
It is a wrong against her in her private capacity, and not an offence against the state. Morally, it is wrong altogether, but we are justified under the law by the exception of fair dealing. In other words, they understand that if we have 3 cars, we can buy one original CD and make 2 copies of it so that we won’t have to buy 3 original copies.
I’m not sure if I’m making any sense but I hope this little bit I learnt and am now sharing helps clear the air a little bit. Please don’t cave in when any Enforcement officer asks RM 400 per CD from you.
If they give you a ticket, make a police report. And if they are not Police, please ask for their ID or authorisation to stop you. These people might be part of a syndicate to trick us into giving them easy money. Be safe and be in the know.