Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket Piracy: Who controls the gold?

Published

 on 

PHUKET: Thailand is now jumping into the intellectual property protection game in a big way. For decades prey to foreign-controlled bounty hunters who collect commissions by seizing pirate editions of copyrighted works, the nation is now moving to secure local copyrights and patents – and to marginalize foreign violators.

Together with its regional partners, Thailand will create an ‘Asean Database on Patent Design’ providing protected status to local designs and allowing their owners to pursue patent violators.

A Patent Co-operation Treaty has been written and Thailand’s Intellectual Property Department is aggressively promoting its services: acting as an agent, translating documents, and arranging fee payments for Thais seeking international copyright protection.

The stated aim is to ‘raise the nation’s competitiveness’, but there may be, too, a hidden aim – to capitalize on licensing fees and the spoils of copyright litigation.

It is important to remember that by no means is every copyrighted or patented property a viable product.

Copyrights are often taken out on things never produced by the copyright holders, who merely hope to ‘cash in’ if someone else produces those things in the future.

Sometimes proprietary rights are established on products either steeped in a nation’s history and traditions or otherwise held legitimately as someone else’s intellectual property, as famously happened in the case of Thailand’s hom mali or ‘jasmine’ rice strain.

Several years back the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization, in an embarrassing burst of nationalism, seriously contemplated proceedings in the international court system to wrest ownership of the phuket.com domain name that had already been legally registered to a more forward-looking private firm.

Potential for abuse across a wide range of copyright issues calls into question the crucial issue of who is competent to judge.

Only last month agents from a Thai music company once again went round to entertainment venues in Phuket demanding 3,500-baht licensing fees which, they insisted, would cover playing in public of virtually all copyrighted music.

Venue owners say they were told that if they failed to pay up, their sound systems would be seized forthwith, along with all ‘copyrighted’ recorded media on the premises.

Copyrighted? Who can tell? The difference between a legal digital version of one’s favorite song and a counterfeit is a difference in number strings, in many cases just light impressions on a poorly cared-for disc.

How can we expect police in the street to say which is which – especially if led by warrant-wielding lawyers whose vested interest is in seizing as much as they can?

Ubiquitous litigation looms in this rush to make everything proprietary, even items once thought not subject to ownership.

The stakes are high, and if there is to be any justice in the outcome it must first be established, if indeed it can: ‘Who is competent, morally and technically, to judge?’

— Gazette Editors

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Bangkok Travel8 hours ago

Ari All Link is a must-attend skill-up workshop for Ari people

Cannabis News10 hours ago

Anutin responds to photo of cannabis smoking kids on Pattaya Beach

Education11 hours ago

Thai student allegedly raped by Hyderabad U professor

Sponsored17 hours ago

Marketing in Thailand as a Foreigner: Volume #3 The Marketing Noises

Tourism11 hours ago

Phuket welcomes 6,730 flights in December

Tourism12 hours ago

Thailand tourism predicted at 80% of pre-Covid in 2023

Transport14 hours ago

Bangkok airport expansion prepares for bidding war

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime14 hours ago

Child Protection Foundation leader faces child labour charges

Road deaths14 hours ago

Red-Bull hit-and-run prosecutor dismissed

Transport15 hours ago

Phuket flight cancellation due to earlier cancelled flight, runway maintenance

Election15 hours ago

Pheu Thai Party under fire as Tuhao-Shinawatra connection exposed

Video16 hours ago

THAIGER PODCAST | Ep.14 Saving Thai cats one paw at a time

Tourism17 hours ago

Bullets-in-bag Israeli given 18 months in Thailand

Video1 day ago

Thailand News Today | 9 year olds smoke cannabis on Pattaya Beach in Thailand

Economy1 day ago

Thai baht soars to six-month high against US dollar

Pattaya1 day ago

Motorcycle taxi riders rally against unlicensed ride-share app drivers in Pattaya

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending