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M'sia to ban VCD sales in open places

Malaysia's anti-piracy unit has recommended that a ban on VCD sales in open places be implemented immediately to fight the proliferation of illegal software and pornographic films.

KUALA LUMPUR--The government's anti-piracy unit has recommended that a ban on VCD sales in open places be implemented immediately to fight the proliferation of illegal software and pornographic films.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the ban will also cover the sale of genuine CDs, VCDs and DVDs by licensed traders.

The Star quoted him as saying that studies showed that the majority of licensed VCD and CD distributors were also distributing pirated and pornographic CDs as they were more lucrative.

According to the minister, there were more than 5,000 traders operating in nightmarkets, by the roadsides and in shops were involved in VCD and CD sales but over 70 percent of them dealt in pornographic, pirated VCDs and CDs.

This means VCDs and CDs can now only be sold in legally recognised shop lots and shopping malls.

Muhyiddin said this move would help the authorities monitor and enforce the laws pertaining to software piracy and illegal VCDs.

"The law for enforcement is there. There's no need for amendments.

"The ban can be imposed because it is a licensing condition ... action can be taken when traders breach the law and the licensing conditions," he said.

When asked if consumers would be penalised for buying pirated and pornographic VCDs, Muhyiddin said the ministry would not want to "punish" members of the public.