Malaysian Government Steps in to Set Up Music Rights Body

The government of Malaysia is looking into setting up a special body to help protect and develop the local music industry, just as how the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) functions for the film industry, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.

At a special townhall session with members of the performing arts industry, he said the body would protect the rights and interests of music industry practitioners, including issues concerning unfair royalty payments.

“Looks like there are crooks not only in politics, but also among those in the performing arts industry. I did not know that they had been violating the law to scoop all the royalties for themselves. This may have been possible due to existing intellectual property laws being inadequate to protect industry members, so after taking into account their views, we will review the laws,” he said.

At the event, industry members also submitted a memorandum to the premier that proposed the setting up of a National Music Corporation.

Dr Mahathir said the structure of the proposed corporation must be determined by industry members themselves so their rights can be protected.

“This would not be a problem for the government as we want the nation’s wealth to be shared together. We introduced the Shared Prosperity Vision, so if there is one individual raking in millions from the (performing arts) industry, it would unjust for those contributing to the same industry not to enjoy a part of it,” he said.

Source: Malay Mail