11 Apr 2007

Samoa police and attorney general's office to prosecute pirate movie sellers

4:01 am on 11 April 2007

Samoa's Deputy prime minister, who is also the Minister of Commerce, Misa Telefoni, has stepped up government moves to stop the hiring and screening of pirate films in the country.

The minister has sent a letter to all video shop operators and Free-to Air and Cable television saying they would no longer be allowed to hold pirate videos.

By the first of June, the selling of pirated films will be illegal and the same will apply to the screening of illegal copies by cable and free-to-air television stations.

The warning has come after the owner of the only cinema in the country, the Magik cinema, was forced to cancel the showing of a film called, "Apocalypto" because of the many pirated copies of the film found in video shops.

Misa says the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour has been instructed to work with the Attorney general's office, and the Commissioner of Police to seize all pirate videos and bring charges against the perpetrators.

The minister says Samoa is now a signatory of the Berne Convention, and the copyright rules must be enforced as agreed.