Ricketts: PH off piracy watch list
Action star and Optical Media Board chairman Ronnie Ricketts finally put together his own “Sona”—or rather, “Soda,” for “state of the DVD address”—more than two years after assuming the post.
At a lunch in a Quezon City restaurant on Tuesday, Ricketts presented the 2013 Special 301 Review of the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) dated Feb. 8.
According to the review, the Washington-based coalition removed the Philippines from the watch list but included it on a “special mention” list, along with Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Taiwan.
The Intellectual Property Office and OMB were lauded in the review for “taking novel and effective approaches to dealing with piracy in the Philippines.” The review added that the two agencies, with the help of the Philippine National Police, “closed several once-notorious piracy markets in Metro Manila, and appear poised to make more progress in Manila and beyond.”
The review singled out Quiapo in Manila, St. Francis Square in Mandaluyong, and Makati Cinema Square in Makati which “evidence the will of the Philippine government to tackle piracy and create space for legitimate creative business to grow.”
The Washington-based copyright watchdog IIPA, formed in 1984, has seven member associations representing over 3,200 United States companies producing and distributing materials protected by copyright laws throughout the world. The Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America are members.
The Philippines was put on the IIPA watch list in 2012 over reports of rampant piracy of movies, music and computer software. Being on the IIPA watch list meant the country faced possible economic and trade sanctions from IIPA members.
But the review pointed out that certain issues remained to be addressed that merited its inclusion in the “special mention” list. The IIPA observed: “Illegal commercial-scale photocopying of (books) and textbooks… remains as the predominant problem in the Philippines. Internet piracy remains an emerging issue in 2012.”
What did Ricketts and his OMB team do different this time?
“Let’s just say my style involves reaching out more to our Muslim brothers,” Ricketts said. “After our raids, we often return to the place and, together, [the displaced merchants] and the team discuss livelihood programs so they can go into alternative legal businesses.”
Ricketts was confident that the Muslim community would support his new movie, Viva Films’ action-comedy “The Fighting Chefs,” which premieres on March 6. It also stars his 18-year-old daughter Marella, and TV chef Boy Logro.
His last movie, “One Percent Full,” was shown in 2007. He was appointed to the OMB in 2009.