Petition for Parliament to table a Meme Theft Act

Petition for Parliament to table a Meme Theft Act

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Justice Radio started this petition to Memelasian Parliament

Beginning May 2018, Malaysia saw the blossoming of a robust and dank renaissance era for memes and meme-generating communities. Despite frequent fear-mongering by clickbait-hungry news agencies and politicians who wished to disturb the peace, the greater Rakyat have been finding a sense of joyful unity to each other through the high quality and novel memes.

Meme pages are the platforms in which this form of art are shared. Meme pages all over the world are governed by a set of commonly accepted norms. One important norm is that when a meme is posted, the creator of the meme (the editor and/or owner of the original idea) is credited by the meme page. The creator usually  submits the meme to the meme page themselves as a form of consent to the upload. This is principally respecting a person's copyrights.

However, in recent months, certain more dominant meme pages (with a larger following) have been taking other (usually smaller) meme pages' content, occasionally adding non-material modifications, and then adding their own watermark. They often do not credit the creator and thus the watermark misleads the Rakyat to think that the page was the creator of that meme. This theft continues to happen to this day, unjustly enriching the thief by increasing their audience, likes, and ability to monetise through advertisements and the like. Many times the said wrong-doing page does not listen to complaints about this matter.

The conundrum is now this: 

  1. Memes are non-physical so Theft in the Penal Code cannot apply, plus it is not serious enough an offence to warrant criminal sanction.
  2. Intellectual property law can theoretically apply but robbed meme creators usually cannot afford private law suits, additionally there is little to no recognised commercial value to memes.

The Rakyat thus needs a Meme Theft Act, which includes a provision that the wrong-doing meme page needs to say sorry and promise to stop being a little b*tch.

#JusticeForLandonTan #JusticeForHinYee

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