How many times have we asked our friends to catch a movie in theatres only for them to say, “Nah. I’ll just wait for it to drop on YIFY and then torrent it.” Illegal downloading is so normal in Malaysia that most people don’t even realise they’re committing a crime; doing it without feeling a tinge of guilt. Well, the stats are in and it looks like Malaysians are one of the most prolific illegal downloaders in Southeast Asia.
Speaking at the Kuala Lumpur Digital Content Anti-Piracy Summit, Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Gobind Singh Deo discussed where Malaysia ranks among the Southeast Asian countries in terms of piracy share.
During his speech, the minister mentioned:
“It [piracy] continues to be a serious inhibitor to the industry’s growth, more so in the online environment.”
Here are some of the key talking points from Gobind Singh Deo’s Speech:
- Malaysia recorded the second largest share of content piracy in Southeast Asia at 17% in 2016 (According to Irdeto, a digital platform security company).
- The number of visits to websites carrying pirated content is TWICE the number of visits to websites with legitimate content.
- In 2016, these illegal activities had caused the industry a whopping RM 1.05 billion in loss of revenue and the government RM 157 million in loss of taxes.
- In 2016, these illegal activities had caused 1900 job losses in the filming and broadcasting industry.
- In fact, in 2018, Malaysian Internet users downloaded a whopping 84 million content files comprising movies and TV shows from BitTorrent. (Note: Considering that Gobind Singh Deo specifically mentioned BitTorrent, we can assume that the overall stats are actually far worse if we include other torrenting platforms like UTorrent.)
Apart from that, Gobind Singh Deo also said the following:
The government acknowledges that we need to be more proactive in fighting digital piracy so that Internet users and media consumers do not take this issue lightly.
Look, buddy. I understand that movies are expensive AF. So, I’m not gonna sit on my high horse and tell you “don’t torrent, asshole!” Nobody is going to stop illegally downloading stuff overnight. However, it’s important for all of us to know that creating content isn’t easy.
Hundreds, at times thousands of people hours and hours with little to no sleep, to make a movie. Not only that, making movies/TV series aren’t cheap. Ola Bola cost RM 5 million to make. Paskal? RM 10 million. A smaller Hollywood film like Get Out? US$ 4.5 million. Hollywood blockbusters like your Marvel and Star Wars movies sometimes have a production budget of more than $US 200 million.
So, the least we can do is instead of always saying, “I’m just gonna wait and torrent it in a few months time,” let’s push ourselves to consume content LEGALLY, either in cinemas or on streaming services like Netflix as much as we possibly can. Because whether we realise it or not, downloading a movie illegally online is THE SAME as walking into a retail store and stealing a piece of clothing.