File-sharing block in Malaysia

This piece of news is making its rounds on FB and twitter because the MCMC (Malaysian Comms and Multimedia Commission) has requested ISPs to block 10 sites that are illegally providing sharing services which contribute to piracy. [Ref TheStar article here]

The "1M Malaysians Don't Want SKMM Block File Sharing Website" on facebook has over 2000 likes as this post is written and is sure to grow as news spreads after the weekend. First things first, the group has a absurdly long name. There are the usual complainers and grouses from the public about the action being taken to ban these sites but a few really beg the question "Do Malaysians really understand their rights?".

This post above on the FB group made me wonder did the person/other users ever read the T&C when he signed up for Streamyx/FTTH-Unifi/Dialup/3G services from any of the local ISPs? You may have paid for the service but that does not mean you own it or can dictate the conditions required from it - those were already set when you signed up for the service. For example, Unifi has a clear T&C that
Transmission of any material in violation of any international, federal, state or local laws or regulations is prohibited. These include, but shall not be limited to copyrighted material, material legally judged to be threatening or obscene, pornographic, profane, or material protected by trade secrets. These also include links or any connection to such materials.
This obviously indicates the use of file-sharing sites but has the company ever taken any harsh action against any users of the service? What would this FB user say if the rules was changed and instead of banning the site, the ISP was to surrender the names and addresses of subscribers accessing these 10 sites for further action by RIAA/MCMC/PPM etc? Wouldn't that be a bigger problem for the user instead?

Then there are posts that repeat the PM's statement about non-censorship of the internet. There exists a very thin boundary between censorship and banning. Admittedly I may not know the laws and jurisdictions of the Government well enough (aku bukan loyar ler) but do you consider the blocking of a "file-sharing website" as a form of censorship? From the governing bodies' view, the block would basically support the rights of a copyright holder which are definitely more than the subscribers right to pirated material. This basically boosts a goverment's outlook as one that supports media rights instead of piracy but draws hatred from the rakyat instead. It all boils down to a simple question - Does blocking pirated material constitute censorship OR support the copyrights? - that is the major problem.

Personally I'm torn between both FOR and AGAINST the action to block access. I don't consider the block as a form of censorship but basically the right action to support the copyright holder's rights to the material. A downright block is what I am against as there are legitimate uses for these filesharing sites (an email can only attach so much). As of writing, TPB is not yet blocked but down (once again) because of some server problems ... I think.

UPDATE 2011-06-11 1600hrs (+8GMT) confirmed that TPB is still accessible and those people swearing online in FB were just paranoid crazy. TPB was out earlier due to power outage at their server ... so, torrent while you still can!

[P/S swearing in FB doesn't prove anything other than you having a really extensive vulgar vocabulary and the class of major A-hole]
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