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Phuket Business: Copyright fraudsters on the prowl

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Phuket Business: Copyright fraudsters on the prowl | Thaiger

PHUKET: Operators of entertainment establishments that utilize copyright protected songs should be wary of personnel claiming to be royalty collectors, a statement issued by the Department of Intellectual Property has warned.

The warning, published last week on the Ministry of Commerce website, said that the department has recently received a number of complaints from establishment operators in Phuket, Pattaya and Chiang Mai.

The complaints were about groups, comprised of no fewer than five persons who reportedly were harassing operators of bars, restaurants, spas and other entertainment venues, demanding royalty payments on the basis of breach of copyright.

Claiming to be legally authorized by the original copyright owners, the suspects reportedly intimidated operators by threatening to have them arrested, resulting in even larger fines, the warning said.

The website also issued guidelines (below) to keep in mind when dealing with anyone claiming to be a copyright royalty collector.

Guidelines from the Department of Intellectual Property:

1. Ask to see an official police complaint stating the charges.

2. Ask to see an unexpired Power of Attorney authorizing the collection of royalties.

3. Inquire about which songs’ copyrights were breached, and which copyright owners the songs were from.

4. Be aware that only a police officer is authorized to make an arrest.

5. Record the conversation and take photographs or video of the suspects and “officers”.

Established operators are advised to report any incidents to the local police, and to review all copyright collection notification information from the central committee of goods and services by visiting ipthailand.go.th.

 

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