Motion Picture Studio wins civil case against optical disc factory in Malaysia

Mumbai:The High Court of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur ruled in favor of a member company of the Motion Picture Association (MPA) in a court case against ODVD Manufacturers Pvt Ltd, an optical disc manufacturing company in Batu Caves, Selangor Darul Ehsan. The action was initiated following a 2002 raid led by the Malaysian Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (MDTCA) during which 550 VCD copies and one Stamper of the movie Stuart Little 2 were recovered.

In a default judgment resulting from the defendant’s failure to appear, the court awarded an injunction in favor of Columbia Pictures Industries Inc. restraining ODVD, its directors, servants and agents from infringing any of the plaintiff’s present and future titles, as well as awarding costs and damages.

As no application was made to set aside the judgment within the prescribed time limit, the verdict was finalized on December 2.

Commenting on the result, MPA general counsel and deputy managing director Asia-Pacific Frank S. Rittman said, "We are gratified by the judgment, resolving an action commenced more than five years ago. We hope this sends the message that, not only can rights holders prevail before the Malaysian judiciary, but also that the MPA is committed to enforcing its member companies rights regardless of the time or resources required."

Criminal prosecution resulting from the 2002 raid remains pending, with the trial now scheduled to commence in January 2009. Two subsequent raids against ODVD were also undertaken by the authorities in 2004 and 2006.

Rittman further noted that civil litigation commenced in 2003 on behalf of MPA member companies against other defendant optical disc factories remains pending.