Price of piracy
“If studios are not getting paid fairly for the content they release, the whole industry suffers, from the producers to writers, actors, and right down to the camera and lighting crew.
“Studios spend more money to get better shows. But if that income stream is stolen by piracy, then it limits the money being put into your favourite shows,” he said.
CEO of HBO Asia Jonathan Spink said that it takes a hard stance against the crime of online theft, which is a severe threat to the pay television business.
“It leads to the loss of revenue for businesses, governments through lower taxes, and it also robs every individual who worked on a production of their hard work and leads to lower salaries or even loss of jobs,” he said.
“Consumers should also beware of buying Android TV boxes as they could be shut down or blocked – it has happened recently with some, and it costs them more money than buying better quality legal services.”
One of the ways dimsum helps to curb piracy for its shows is by offering simulcasts of its biggest titles.
“By dealing directly with the content providers and offering same-day simulcast as the show’s country of origin, we have an advantage over the pirated sites,” Lam said.
“We also offer subtitles in Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and English, and the shows in HD quality. Most pirated shows compromise on quality, or have no subtitles.”
As a legitimate OTT content provider, dimsum provides safe and legal access to the best Asian content at a very small fee, said Lam.
“When you download or stream from pirated sites, there is a chance you could be downloading malware as well. dimsum gives you a safe way to watch your favourite shows, as we do not compromise on security.”
Astro has also been actively talking to studios to release their content faster. “We have to ensure that legitimate customers are getting the freshest content as soon as possible, so that they do not feel that we are lagging behind the pirates,” Tan said.
iflix global director of PR and communications Peggy Lee said the Malaysia-based OTT provider focuses on providing an exceptional customer experience that discourages piracy.
“We don’t believe people actively want to steal. People pirate content because they can’t get it elsewhere,” Lee said.
“We are committed to supporting the creative community, and protecting the creativity and innovation that underpins the creation of all great shows and movies.”
A spokesperson from Netflix said that according to the Sandvine Internet Phenomena reports on Bittorrent, there has been a notable reduction in piracy in countries it operates in such as the United States and Canada, where it has been the longest.
“We find people are willing to pay a fair price for great content, delivered without hassle whenever they want,” the spokesperson said. “Our push to secure global rights and to release all originals simultaneously to our global members will help address piracy.”
Airin Zainul, Media Prima’s director of tonton and licensing and merchandising, said that tackling the issue of piracy is a daily and ongoing challenge. “Piracy comes in many forms for us – from our TV channels and OTT tonton content offerings in the online space to our intellectual properties (licensing and merchandising) in retail,” she said.
“Currently we are working with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) on providing public service announcements through our animation brands such as Ejen Ali to the young fans.
“We hope to provide awareness to children early on about what piracy is and how we can all benefit from buying or consuming content legally.”