Malaysian police have arrested a man suspected of running the media piracy site jiwang.org, which hosts links to illegal copies of music, TV shows and movies.
According to the Malaysian Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (MDTCC), jiwang.org is one of the most popular sources of pirated content online in Malaysia, and hosts links to popular Hollywood films including, Pitch Perfect, Rise of the Guardians, Snow White and the Huntsman, Prometheus, The Bourne Legacy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Life of Pi, and A Good Day to Die Hard, and others.
During the arrest at the 35-year-old suspect’s home in the state of Kelantan, officers discovered a secret compartment that could only be accessed via a wardrobe, leading to a room containing sophisticated computer equipment, an LED TV monitor, modem, router and wireless internet connection.
"We are happy that after extensive planning and investigation, we have finally arrested the suspect who we believe is behind the infamous site that is responsible for illegally sharing content," said Roslan Mahayudin, director general of MDTCC, in a statement. “For the longest time, they have used their website to distribute illegal content, denying the rights of content creators. Currently, the website is still up as we are conducting investigations on it."
The arrest is the second this year of a pirate media website operator in Malaysia. In March, the operator of popular illegal download host SYOK.org was arrested.
“The operation was a major victory for filmmakers and movie audiences. The rogue site, jiwang.org, has long operated without respecting the intellectual property of filmmakers and I know that many colleagues throughout the screen community will be pleased with this outcome,” said Norman Abdul Halim, honorary secretary of the Malaysian Film Producers’ Association, in response to the arrest. “We hope that the government will continue to address the issue and our screen industry will provide our full support.”
If convicted under the Malaysian Copyright Act, the suspect faces fines of $650–6,500 (2,000–20,000 Malaysia ringgit) for each infringing copy, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or both.
“This action sends a clear message to operators of such rogue websites that there is no place for them in Malaysia and we will continue to work with the Malaysian authorities to take them down,” said Mike Ellis, president and managing director of Motion Picture Association (MPA) in Asia Pacific, in response to the news.