Police on Friday raided a store near Olympic Market and seized more than 800 pirated CDs and VCDs, police said Sunday.
“It was the biggest store we have raided this year,” said Riem Sarin, chief of Phnom Penh’s police unit covering misdemeanor crimes.
Four Cambodian video production companies filed a complaint in Phnom Penh municipal court two weeks ago after the store operators pirated a karaoke video and other productions by Cambodian companies.
“I spent around $40,000 to produce this Khmer movie which took five months to make, but they stole it in just two hours,” said Eng Chhay Nguon, general director of Hang Meas Video.
The store, in Tuol Svay Prey II commune, Chamkar Mon district, was advertised on the street as a computer repair shop.
The video pirates were not arrested in Friday’s raid. Riem Sarin said his orders from the court were to collect the pirated discs, computers and laser printers as evidence, not make arrests.
“The court will look into the matter and determine who should be summoned to court,” he said.
Pirated movie and music CDs are widely available throughout Phnom Penh, from the latest Western movies to karaoke videos selling from $1 to $4.
The only concerted crackdown in Cambodia’s pirated CD market has been the elimination of most pornography.
One of the requirements for membership in the World Trade Organization, which Cambodia has been aggressively pursuing, is copyright laws that meet international standards.
The government has a number of intellectual property laws in the works, including legislation to protect trademarks, which is expected to gain approval in the National Assembly in September. A law on copyright protection should be submitted to the Council of Ministers in December.
Muong Sokhan, deputy director of the Cinema and Cultural Diffusion Department at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, said that in November, the ministry will crack down on the sale of any unlicensed copies of videos or other recordings and those recordings that have not passed the ministry’s cultural censors.