PHUKET: Entertainment venues around the island were raided last week in a clampdown on copyright violations. Several bar operators were fined for illegally playing copyrighted music in their bars and ordered to obtain licenses to allow them to play music at their establishments.
The raids were instigated by a team of about 20 representatives from RPK Publishing. Music collections and computers at venues were searched for evidence of copyright violations.
Some bar owners were ordered to pay fines or given the option to buy a license, while others were arrested and taken to police stations.
On condition of anonymity, several Rawai bar owners told the Gazette that the amounts they were fined varied depending on various factors, including negotiation skills. Some bars were tipped off about the raids and managed to hide their computers before being searched.
According to bar owners’ reports, that RPK representatives initially visited venues without police being present and later called police when they discovered that their clients’ music was being played illegally.
Police then accompanied the RPK representatives on subsequent raids at other venues.
When the Gazette called Samarn Chainarong, superintendent of Chalong Police Station, on Monday, he said he knew very little about the crackdown and was unable to say who bar owners should contact in order to obtain a license.
Many of the bar owners who had bought official-looking licenses issued by RPK Publishing following the raids told the Gazette they were unaware that those licenses applied only to the artists that RPK represents.
Sutthisak Prasatkrarukarn, Secretary of the Prevention and Suppression of Intellectual Property Infringement Committee (Private Sector), explained that people who buy CDs legally are entitled to use them for private entertainment.
“If the CD is to be used in a pub or restaurant, then one must ask the copyright owner – that is, the company that produced the CDs or their representative – for the right to use the CD in public,” he said.
An RPK employee at the company’s head office in Bangkok explained that RPK was trying to be reasonable. The official fine is anywhere from 40,000 to 200,000 baht. However, she added, in practice many bars escaped the fines by agreeing to buy a 12-month license to make public playing of the music legal.
One bar owner who was arrested, however, had to pay several thousand baht extra so that she could be released from detention and return to her restaurant.
Foreign record labels protected by RPK are Red Beat and Spicy Beat. The Thai labels/singers that RPK are acting on behalf of are Thai RMN, Krung Thai Audio, Surapol Sombatjaroen, MP Sounds Media Group, PR Entertainment, Talung Promotions, Saha Kuong Heng, CTT Publishing, Kon Muang Records, RMS Studio & Multimedia, Bao Jin Jong and Hia.
RPK employee Khun Sayan, who led the raids, told the Gazette, “5,000 baht buys a license to play the music of our clients publicly for one year. Our staff are music experts and familiar with all the songs that the company is protecting.
“A lot of pubs, bars and clubs use music that we are supposed to protect. Karaoke bars, however, usually do not have the kind of music that we look after.”
The RPK employee in Bangkok explained that although there are presently 15 agencies in Thailand that sell copyright licenses on behalf of copyright holders, only five are actively pursuing violators.
The other four that are expected to visit Phuket soon are copyright agents Likisit Center and Likisit Pleng and the recording companies GMM Grammy and RS Promotions, who carry out their own inspections.
Khun Sutthisak explained that to fully comply with intellectual property laws, bar owners must obtain individual licenses to cover all the music they play.
He added that fines are much higher for establishments that broadcast unlicensed videos, adding that it is illegal for VCDs or DVDs to be copied onto a hard disk to be broadcast in entertainment venues. Violators face being fined from 100,000 to 500,000 baht for doing so.
“If the video did not pass the Thai censorship board, then there can be additional fines of 20,000 to 500,000 baht,” he said.
‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people
On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.
From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.
The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.
One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.
There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.
This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.
This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.
The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations
PHOTO: Hello Phuket – destined for huge tourist growth in the next six years – fodors.com
In 2018, international tourist arrival traffic grew by 6% to reach a total of 1.4 billion world tourists, according to research by UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. And there’s a lot more to come with international travel predicted to increase by a massive 35% over the next six years to 2025.
But where is all that extra traffic going to go? Which destinations are quiet now that might be swarming with tourists in the years to come? Two destinations in Thailand are set for a prosperous future, according to the data. Whilst almost all the growth is excepted to be to Asian destinations, an under-visited resource for world tourism so far.
Euromonitor data has been used to simulate tourist growth models and reveal the fastest growing projected visitor arrivals in major cities and destinations around the world for 2025, compared to arrival figures in 2018.
In Thailand, Phuket’s tourist traffic is poised to increase up to 85% in the next six years, from nearly 12 million arrivals in 2018 to over 22 million in 2025. Bangkok is predicted to see the 8th most prolific rise in tourist traffic, with arrivals in Bangkok set to swell an additional 68% during the same period. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is set to explode with 104% increase in traffic over the next six years.
The data also predicts that both Bangkok and Phuket will rebound big time in 2020, Phuket in particular with a growth of around 20% for the next year, accord to the data from TravelSupermarket.com.
By 2025 the data predicts that Bangkok will be the world’s #1 tourist destination, a position it’s held before in recent years. The Thai capital will be followed by Singapore, Dubai, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, making South East Asia the world’s emerging tourism hotspot.
Some of the world’s favourites – New York, Paris, London – will continue to grow their tourist numbers but not at the rate of most Asian destinations.
You can read the full list HERE.
Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com
Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com
Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works
The Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority says Rawai’s mains water supply will be shut off tomorrow (Tuesday, October 15) as new water pipes are fitted in front of The Title Beach Front condo resort complex on the town’s beachfront.
The mains water supply will be shut off from 9am until 4:30pm along the beachfront strip.
The PWA says the areas affected will be along Wiset Road along the Rawai beachfront road, as well as Soi Yanui and Soi Ruafaed.
Residents and businesses are being urged to collect water for use during the day today, before tomorrow morning’s shut-off.
As usual, the PWA say…“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
Contact the Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority on 076 319173 or 082 7901634 for more details.
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