Screen community committed to protecting IPR following successful removal of Philippines from 2014 Special 301 Watch List
Chairman Ronnie Ricketts and Acting Executive Director Dennis B. Pinlacof the Optical Media Board train security personnel on the use of night vision goggles to spot hidden camcorders in cinemas
Manila, Philippines 25 June 2014 – The Philippines’ screen community remains committed to ensuring intellectual property is promoted and protected following the recent announcement by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) removing the Philippines from the 2014 Special 301 Watch List. In the latest development, cinemas are employing night vision goggles (NVGs) to prevent Illegal camcording of movies in cinemas which remains a major threat during the blockbuster release season.
Along with the current range of high priority detection measures, local cinemas are partnering with the Optical Media Board (OMB) to employ NVGs during screening sessions to deter and detect any instance of illegal camcording. Expert teams trained to detect illegal camcording will be fitted with NVGs and stationed in strategic places in theatres, ensuring that anyone who attempts to illegally record a movie will be swiftly detected.
OMB Chairman Ronnie Ricketts, said,“Our removal from the Special 301 Watch List is a massive achievement for the whole Filipino community. However, we should not be complacent. The OMB is committed to protecting the cinemas and both the local and foreign creative and film industries so the employment of NVGs is another important strategy in our joint efforts to prevent movie theft in cinemas, especially with the upcoming blockbuster season.”
Genric Holding Limited, the Motion Picture Association (MPA) representatives in the Philippines, continue to deploy overt and covert teams equipped with NVGs across Metro Manila and the surrounding provinces to deter and interdict individuals and criminal syndicates involved in illegal camcording. With a significant increase in the number of surveillance devices in cinemas, Genric is confident that illegal camcorders will be identified and apprehended.
“While we have increased security in cinemas, we encourage audiences to keep an eye out for film pirates and illegal camcording activities during movie screenings, and alert security personnel,” stressed Atty. Rolando Duenas, representative of the National Cinema Association of the Philippines. “We encourage all Filipinos to join us in the fight against film piracy in the form of illegal camcording.”
Along with the employment of NVG teams, Philippine cinema staff and the OMB have undertaken a range of deterrence measures towards combating illegal camcording in cinemas. Cinema staff are highly trained in how to best identify potential illegal camcorders, report them to the authorities and ensure that audiences continue to enjoy a legitimate cinema experience. Meanwhile the OMB, led by Chairman Ronnie Ricketts, regularly deploys teams of dedicated agents to conduct routine inspections of theatres. The OMB is the lead agency diligently implementing various anti-piracy initiatives such as student workshops to educate on movie piracy and operations to deter, apprehend and report violators of the Philippine Anti-Camcording Act of 2010.
The OMB, thePhilippine National Police, the National Cinema Association of the Philippines, the Motion Picture Anti-Film Piracy Council (MPAFPC) and the entire screen community in the Philippines are committed to sending an unambiguous deterrent message to would be illegal camcorders: their actions are a threat to the health of the screen community; but they will be detected, prosecuted and sentenced according to the law.
The Anti-Camcording Act of 2010 prohibits unauthorized use of audio-visual recording devices for unauthorized recording of cinematographic films or any audio-visual work to distribute and/or exhibit. Penalties for caught violators shall be charged a fine worth PhP 50,000 to PhP 750, 000 (US$1,000-US$17,000) and will face imprisonment of a minimum of six months and one day to six years and one day.