Police have begun and will continue with a series of raids in three Phnom Penh districts in an effort to crack down on pirated DVDs and CDs, officials said Sunday.
Pok Vanthy, deputy director of the Culture Ministry’s cinema and culture diffusion department, said that authorities are conducting raids in the districts of Daun Penh, Prampi Makara and Chamkar Mon, focusing on illegally produced copies of Cambodian and Thai movies, as well as porn.
“Pirated foreign CDs and DVDs will be raided next,” Pok Vanthy said by telephone Sunday.
The Interior Ministry confiscated 200 CDs and DVDs, mostly pornographic movies, from D Center 2 in Prampi Makara district on Friday, Pok Vanthy said.
“The local authorities are responsible for conducting major raids in the markets,” he said, adding that the Culture Ministry hopes that removing pirated discs with Cambodian content will help the country’s struggling movie industry.
“The movie producers want to make a profit,” he said. “If there are too many pirated CDs and DVDs, the Cambodian movie [industry] will decline.”
Flash Diamond Movie Production filmmaker Ly Bun Yim said Cambodian movie producers are hesitant to make new movies because of the rampant amount of pirated movies.
“Many producers are not producing movies at the moment because the intellectual property law is not being implemented effectively,” he said Sunday.
“If they crack down effectively, the film industry will survive,” Ly Bun Yim said, adding that he and other producers won’t release movies in Cambodia until they see if authorities carry out the raids.
On Sept 5, government officials met with hundreds of DVD and CD shop owners in Phnom Penh to inform them of a crackdown on all pirated movies and music. After the shop owners complained to the officials that the raids would affect their livelihood, the Culture Ministry decided to delay cracking down on pirated foreign films and music.