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Mobiles ban for cinemas
  Mobiles ban for cinemas

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Mobile phones will soon be banned from cinemas as the government strives to combat the high level of intellectual-property-rights (IPR) violations in the Kingdom.

The move follows a meeting yesterday between Deputy Commerce Minister Banyin Tangpaporn and officers of the International Intellectual Property Association (IIPA).

The association urged the creation of a law forbidding mobiles in cinemas, because it found that easy access for high-technology late-model phones had increased copyright infringements.

Yesterday's meeting also sought closer cooperation between the IIPA and Thai authorities in the suppression of IPR violations, following Thailand's relegation to the US Priority Watch List (PWL) for failing to protect US movies, music and computer programs against piracy. The list entails extra scrutiny and the threat of economic sanctions if the US decides to pursue complaints before the World Trade Organisation.

The IIPA has called for stringent laws to forbid mobile phones in cinemas, because there is reportedly a high level of violations when they are allowed in, Banyin said.

Thai police say cases of mobile phones being used to violate film copyright in cinemas have been reported to them.

The Intellectual Property Depart- ment will be asked to call a meeting of relevant agencies, including cinema operators and owners of film copyrights, to discuss the problem.

Banyin said film-copyright violations have destroyed the country's image in the eyes of the international community.

We have the Copyright Act to control such crimes we may need more regulations and stringent punishments.

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