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News |  22 Sep 2007 23:19 |  By RnMTeam

Malaysia campaigns against Internet music piracy

MUMBAI: A group of Malaysian music companies, led by the Recording Industry Association of Malaysia has urged Internet authorities to block foreign websites that offer free downloading of pirated songs.

The association says its members are losing business because Malaysians are downloading pirated music.

The association`s leader, Tan Ngiap Foo, said their sales profit dropped to $25 million in 2006 from an average of $58 million in the late 1990s. He blamed the slump to Chinese, South Korean, Russian and other foreign-based sites that offer free file-sharing services, reports say.

Tan said the group, which has about 100 members, will submit to the Communications and Multimedia Commission a list of sites that offer free pirated music. He said their request to ban such sites is sensitive because it contradicts the Malaysian government`s policy of ensuring unfettered access to the Internet. But Tan argued that illegal downloading is copyright infringement. The association is also proposing new laws that will prosecute people who download pirated music, add reports.