In commemoration of the 2015 World IP Day, various local and international agencies have banded together to not only celebrate the fact that the Philippines has been removed from the US Special 301 Watchlist, but also to drive home the point that pirates are running out of places to hide.
“Motion picture and video constitute a core part of our copyright-based industries (CBIs). CBIs, as shown in the 2014 study of the World Intellectual Property Organization, have significant contribution to the Philippine economy at 7.34% of the gross domestic product (GDP) and 14.14% to employment. With some of our films critically acclaimed here and abroad, our movie industry holds promise for a stronger niche in the region. To support the industry, we continue to step up awareness and enforcement efforts against movie piracy,” said Atty. Allan B. Gepty, Deputy Director-General at the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPO).
The Optical Media Board (OMB), Motion Picture Association (MPA), PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), and IPO have identified key piracy syndicates earlier this year and are coordinating efforts to apprehend their activities. Film exhibitors have also improved security, training, and engagement with the MPA while improving detection technologies such as night vision goggles.
Last 2014, the Motion Picture Anti-Film Piracy Council of the Philippines (MPAFPC), PNP, and the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) also organized an exhibitors conference wherein implementing rules and regulations of the Anti-Camcording Law was discussed, and guidelines on course of action for interdictions were explained. The latest technologies pirates use in camcording movies were also identified.
“The PNP will continue to work closely with the movie industry to ensure that offenders are caught and brought to justice,” said General Benjamin Magalong, PNP-CIDG Chief. “The PNP is keeping close watch on these syndicates and we intend to take them down. There will be zero tolerance for those caught camcording in cinemas.”
“This year on World Intellectual Property Day, we recognize the unique role of the creative and performance industry in bettering our world and contributing to our economy and culture. It is also an opportunity to celebrate and recognize the connection between intellectual property protection and the creation of this art form,” said Brian Breuhaus, U.S. Embassy Economic Officer. “By building awareness of the role of copyright in incentivizing creativity, we are making sure that future generations will also be able to enjoy the fruits of the creative filmmaking process.”
Around 2010, almost 40 camcording incidents have been traced back to the Philippines. Though the number went down to around 15 last year, two camcords have already been detected this 2015: one for the Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and another for DreamWorks Animation’s Home. Local films such as That Thing Called Tadhana were also illegally recorded.
“The local film industry is undergoing an age of renaissance. The quality and calibre of the films emerging today – many from new filmmakers – is attracting a lot of attention in both domestic and international audiences,” says Dominic Du, MPAFPC representative. “We need to protect these creative individuals, and the actors, crew and studios behind them, to ensure that we will continue to enjoy the kind of films that Filipinos enjoy.”
To further combat piracy, the government also conducted various education efforts among the public. The Optical Media Board (OMB) intensified awareness through its flagship campaign, BAWAL KUMOPYA, which conveyed a strong informative message by enjoining the general public on the significance of promoting and protecting intellectual property creations and its related rights. According to OMB Chair Ronnie Ricketts, “Just like any other similar properties, intellectual property rights deserve to be protected from unscrupulous profit makers, that brings prejudice to government tax collections, as well as posing undue disadvantages to economic opportunities. As we commemorate and celebrate World Intellectual Property Day, the OMB reaffirms its explicit mandate in the promotion and protection of intellectual property rights by continuously enforcing the laws, regulating, prosecuting, and educating the public on the intricacies of preventing piracy.”
Pictured above (from left): Paul Ingram, Genric Asia Security and Risk Operations for MPA in the Philippines; Brian Breuhaus, US Embassy Economic Officer; Ronnie Ricketts, OMB Chairman; Atty. Mayet Dagsa, IPO Philippines; and Cor. Nilo Pagtalunan, PNP-CIDG.