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Empowering Malaysian Creativity: Standing Together Against Piracy


Wob Announcement Altimet 2
Source: Provided to WOB

Assalamualaikum, Malaysia.

I address you today not only as my better-known pseudonym, Altimet, the rapper and creative industry entrepreneur, but also as YB Syed Ahmad, a dedicated representative for Lembah Jaya, a politician, committed to making substantive change for our country.

As a multifaceted figure in Malaysia, I’ve been in the music industry for over two decades, before making the dive into politics – and my journey is exactly why I’m speaking out today, on the urgent need to confront the pervasive threat of digital piracy, that continues to overshadow our creative industries.

I’ve been provided with a unique perspective on the evolution of piracy, seeing firsthand, its origins from pirated CDs to its eventual manifestation into the ever-growing realm of illicit online streaming platforms. Throughout this progression, I have seen the detrimental impact it has had on fellow artists and creators, both financially and creatively.

Not only does digital piracy put thousands of jobs and the future of Malaysian creatives at risk, but Awani also reported that digital piracy has badly impacted the country’s media and entertainment industry, with reports approximating the annual losses to be around RM3 billion, and RM500 million in taxes.


Back in the 1990s

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Reflecting on my early years as an aspiring rapper, songwriter and producer, the introduction of pirated copies into the market underscored the release of my debut album. I had worked so hard on it and was eager to share my work with the world, but the excitement was short-lived. It almost felt as if I was robbed of the feeling of being proud of my craft, leaving me to wonder about the possible diminishing value of creative work.

I’ve even attended events where they played low-quality, ripped, YouTube uploads of my songs. Both my team and I were very aware of this, as we put significant effort into crafting the music and sound effects for the music videos. It was a very bittersweet feeling because I know people do that because they simply enjoy the song and the music very much, but what they don’t know is the long-term effects of what they are doing when they consume it that way.


Fast forward to the 2000s

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Fast forward to today, the prevalence and convenience of digital piracy now pose an even greater threat to the sustainability of the entertainment industry, as it thrives on the internet through the abundance of numerous illegal streaming platforms. It seems like a never-ending battle – every time one illegal streaming website or platform was shut down, others would quickly pop up in its place.

This shift has presented unprecedented challenges for everyone across the board, as Malaysia’s entertainment industry continues to grapple with the loss of revenue, and more importantly, the erosion of intellectual property rights.

It has to be a continuous, consistent effort to educate and spread awareness to the masses – and I strongly believe that this is possible because I’ve had fans who used to listen to my songs illegally, come up to me now to apologise for doing so.


Protect and nourish the creative industry

The intertwining of my passion for music and creativity with my unwavering commitment to artists’ rights is undeniable. The challenges faced by fellow musicians and creators impacted by piracy evoke a profound sense of relatable empathy within me. Observing their struggles only underscores the urgent need for concerted efforts to combat piracy comprehensively.

Now is the moment for decisive action to safeguard the integrity of our creative industries. Let us take proactive steps to protect our music and cultivate the talents that form the cornerstone of our dynamic industry.


⁠Political action: Charting a course for change

Yb Syed Ahmad @ Altimet

In my dual role as an advocate for the arts and a political representative, I am committed to leveraging my platform to enact meaningful change – I’m talking about real change. This includes collaborating with relevant stakeholders to implement comprehensive strategies aimed at combating piracy, safeguarding intellectual property rights, and promoting legal alternatives.


A unified front against piracy

I recognise that the fight against piracy transcends industry interests and is fundamentally about upholding the rights of artists and creators. We must unite as a collective force, encompassing artists, policymakers, and the public, to address this pressing issue head-on.

Together, we can head towards a future where the integrity of our creative industries is preserved, and the contributions of artists are valued and protected. Let us stand united in our commitment to fostering a culture that respects and sustains creativity for generations to come, and ensure a vibrant future for Malaysian music and culture. #LayanOriJanganCuri

YB Syed Ahmad @ Altimet


Also read: M’sians are Illegally Selling Pirated USBs With Songs for Less Than RM10 & are Earning Up to RM200K

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Source: Zen Chung

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