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Fiji Time: 5:09 AM on Thursday 24 April

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Fighting piracy

Felix Chaudhary
Saturday, January 12, 2013

MUNICIPAL council heads say a common ground has to be reached in addressing the movie and music piracy issue in the country.

Special administrators and municipal councils chief executive officers who attended the fourth quarter consultative forum in Lautoka said the interests of all stakeholders involved had to be carefully considered and they called for further discussion on the issue.

"There are four or five stakeholders involved," said Nasinu Town Council chief executive officer Simione Naikarua.

"We have the movie producers and music composers who want to see returns on their intellectual property, dealers who want to do business and make profits, the public that want to watch movies very cheaply and councils that want to ensure businesses are not affected.

"All these stakeholders have different and conflicting agenda and it is important that we work together to find a common ground," he said.

Lautoka special administrator Praveen Bala said it was important for authorities to take into consideration the unique situation in Fiji and the fact that a significant proportion of the people would not be able to access entertainment if movie and music prices were beyond their reach.

"In saying that, piracy is illegal and has to be addressed but we need common solution, one that addresses all the stakeholders' interests and concerns," he said.

Head of the copyright enforcement unit at the Fiji Intellectual Property Office Terrence O'Neill-Joyce said councils should look at the licences that were issued to DVD movie outlets and use the same to find breaches to the law.

"DVD outlets are issued licences that clearly state that they are operating a video library, not a DVD copying business," he said.

"There is also the issue of how licences are given to DVD movie and music pirates and that are situated right next to established music and movie dealers like Procera and SPR.

"When councils issue licences they need to look at issues like this," he said.