The Malaysian government has passed a new legislation targeting illegal camcorder recording in cinemas. As part of the updated Copyright Act of 1987, individuals caught using or attempting to use a recording device in a cinema will face a fine of between Rm 10,000-100,000 (Us$ 1,570-15,700), a prison sentence of up to five years, or both.
Four years in the making, the amended legislation addresses concerns that previous versions of the law failed to cover modern recording technologies.
In line with most of Asia Pacific, Malaysia has long been infamous for its high levels of piracy. In its last published research on the subject, the Motion Picture Association (MPA) estimated that piracy accounted for 91% of Malaysia's total video business in 2005, with losses from physical spending estimated at $261m and those from illegal downloads at $117m annually. In the past six years these proportions can be assumed to have shifted strongly towards online piracy. More recently, the MPA has estimated that about one tenth of global camcorder recordings in 2010 could be traced back to cinemas in the Asia-Pacific region.