Piracy crackdown on intellectual property as tourism grows

PHOTO: Intellectual property crackdown as tourism returns. (FILE PHOTO)

With tourism now beginning to return to Thailand, the Intellectual Property Department pledged to be more strict in cracking down on pirated goods. Experts believe that the market will be flooded with fakes in popular tourist destinations as shady sellers see new potential customers pouring into the country.

The IPD is coordinating with the Customs Department, the Department of Special Investigation, and the Royal Thai Police to work together with major intellectual property owners as well as the owners of popular trading and vending areas to create guidelines to protect, supervise, and suppress IP violations. The deputy director-general of the IPD made a statement about the plans to stop pirated goods from being sold to tourists.

“After the country’s reopening on June 1 to support tourism, a flood of foreign tourists is anticipated. Sales of pirated products may rebound in tourist areas following the reopening. The department, in cooperation with allies in the public and private sectors, wants to intensify measures to prevent and suppress IP violations.”

Markets that are already well known to be selling pirated items and red zone tourist areas will be subjected to more frequent and more thorough inspections. Silom Road in Bangkok, Patong Beach in Phuket, Koh Samui, Surat Thani, Chiang Mai, and Rong Kluea market in Sa Kaeo on the Cambodian border were specifically named as points of interest increased scrutiny would occur.

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The crackdowns will extend online also, as large international shopping platforms like Lazada, Shopee, and JD Central as well as many others have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Business Development Department at the beginning of last year along with 25 IP owners in Thailand and abroad to protect online intellectual property rights.

Those three biggest online platforms have seen a significant decrease in unofficial products being sold on their sites now that intellectual property owners can directly report any violations that are found and have items removed immediately.

Now the IPD will expand this programme to include many more intellectual property owners and cover many more online sales platforms including Facebook and YouTube where content copyright infringement including music is still a major problem.

Statistics suggest that the amount of pirated goods in Thailand may be decreasing, as the first five months of 2022 saw just over 438,000 pieces impounded, 88.2% less than the same period in 2021. Arrests were down 23.1% as well, from 954 in 2021 to 734 so far this year.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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