Online movie piracy on rise in Thailand

Online movie piracy on rise in Thailand

Digital piracy has intensified in Thailand with the rise of social media such as Facebook, Line and YouTube, says the Motion Picture Association (Thailand). 

The widespread availability of social media makes piracy easier, especially for movies, said Umasiri Taron, deputy executive director of the association, which is affiliated with the Motion Picture Association of America.

"Watching movies online has become popular now, as it is easier, more accessible and convenient," she said.

Ms Umasiri urged the government to speed up amending the Copyright Act and Computer Crime Act to allow copyright owners to petition courts immediately to shut down pirate websites.

She said the private sector also needed authorities to block pirate websites permanently.

The movie market in Thailand is estimated to be worth 4 billion baht a year, according to recent data.

Ms Umasiri said the association's survey also found extensive illegitimate advertising on Thai websites, particularly in the areas of pornography and medicines.

She cited the recent study of Paul Watters, a professor of information technology at the University of Massey in New Zealand, which found Thailand had the highest proportion of advertising of pornographic websites in the world.

Thosapone Dansuputra, director-general of the Intellectual Property Department, said internet piracy was on the rise and authorities found it difficult to detect and inspect.

However, the department is now closely working with other related agencies that handle  piracy suppression to tackle the problems.

The department has also worked with the Education Ministry to include intellectual property-related issues in students' curriculums to raise awareness of the importance of intellectual property among the young generation.

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