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Net cafes under scrutiny

Felix Chaudhary
Friday, April 04, 2014

INTERNET cafes in the Western Division will come under the spotlight after the Fiji Intellectual Properties Office (FIPO) identified the popular teenagers' hangouts as places where pirated local music can be obtained cheaply.

Terence O'Neill-Joyce, FIPO's head of enforcement, said the response from municipal councils and stakeholders in the division was positive.

"It is encouraging to see that DVD and music outlets in Sigatoka, Nadi, Lautoka, Ba and Tavua are all making commitments not to illegally reproduce or sell pirated copies of local music," he said.

"The next step is targeting internet cafes.

"We have identified that they sell pirated copies of local music very cheaply and this is one area we are going to clamp down on."

Lautoka, Ba and Tavua special administrator Praveen Bala said he was organising a meeting with internet cafe owners at the Lautoka City Council chambers next week.

"We are not here to discourage business activity," he said.

"We just want people to respect and protect locally-produced music.

"So, we are going to have a meeting with internet café owners to advise them that they are not to sell pirated local music in any format through any means.

"We want to work with everybody responsible to ensure that going forward, everyone plays by the rules."

Mr Bala said any stakeholder with grievances could contact the council to discuss the issue in a congenial manner.

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