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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 November 2005, 12:55 GMT
Malaysia warned over pirated CDs
Pirated CD stall in Kuala Lumpur (archive image)
CD piracy costs companies billions of dollars annually
Malaysia's government has been accused of failing to act on evidence that licensed CD factories are producing pirated music, films and software.

The country's recording industry says pirated discs from 12 of the 44 factories licensed by the government have been exported abroad.

The suspect plants continue to operate despite complaints while illegal plants have been shut down, the industry says.

Malaysia is thought to be the world's largest exporter of pirated discs.

Pirated discs produced in Malaysia have been found across Europe, Asia, Latin America and, most recently, in South Africa.

Billions lost

Forensic examinations were made by labs in London belonging to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

A spokesman for the Recording Industry Association of Malaysia (Rim) said the Malaysian authorities had been given the evidence.

"What we are concerned about is that the CD plants are still operating despite our complaints so we do not know what form of action the government has taken," Rim chief executive officer Tan Ngiap Foo told AFP news agency.

"The forensic tests... [are] equivalent to DNA tests so we are able to trace the source of the manufacturer."

He commended the government, however, for raiding seven unlicensed CD plants this year alone.

The trade ministry was unavailable for comment.

Industry bodies and the US government both reckon that licensed Malaysian factories are able to produce around nine million discs every day.

That is 10 times what is needed to meet demand in Malaysia, the BBC's Jonathan Kent reports from Kuala Lumpur.

Record companies say that without the political will to stop them, Malaysian pirates will continue to defraud music, film and software companies of billions of dollars every year.

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