IPO, OMB to movie pirates: We’ll catch you with night vision goggles | Inquirer Entertainment

IPO, OMB to movie pirates: We’ll catch you with night vision goggles

/ 07:50 PM April 29, 2013

FROM left, “Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank” director Marlon Rivera, US Embassy economic officer Darren Dapas, OMB chair Ronnie Ricketts, MPAFPC legal counsel Joji Alonso, IPO director general Ricardo Blancaflor and PNP NCRPO Chief Supt. Gen. Christopher Laxa Arnold Almacen

Movie pirates can no longer use the darkness of movie houses as cover, top honchos of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and Optical Media Board (OMB) vowed.

At a recent press briefing jointly held by OMB and IPO at Casa Armas at The Podium in Ortigas Center, IPO director- general Ricardo Blancaflor told entertainment media members that enforcers were prepared to patrol cinemas using sophisticated technology to spot and nab individuals recording the movie.


“This year, we’ll start using night vision goggles,” Blancaflor said. “This is a warning; perpetrators will not even notice they are being monitored.”

Other than that, Blancaflor preferred to remain mum on how his office and the Philippine National Police would conduct their operations in and around theaters. “We stay silent about questions on operations,” he said. “We don’t want to telegraph our punches and compromise our own operations.”


On April 24, opening day of the highly anticipated superhero movie “Iron Man 3,” OMB chair Ronnie Ricketts and his operatives made the cinema rounds in Robinsons Manila, Gateway Mall in Araneta Center, SM Megamall and SM Mall of Asia. The team also conducted a “cleanup” of known pirated DVD stalls in the Ermita area. Ricketts was accompanied by Motion Picture Association-International senior vice president Edward Neubronner.

“The movie was shown here ahead of the May 3 US opening. Neubronner was impressed with how we improved our antipiracy operations,” Ricketts said in a phone interview April 27. He disclosed that his team did not encounter any camcording incidents that day.

The press briefing was held to drum up public awareness on World Intellectual Property Day, which was observed on April 26.

Piracy hotspot

In the past decade, Blancaflor noted, the Philippines was a piracy “hotspot” due to the proliferation of pirated DVDs and music CDs, unlicensed computer software, and illegally photocopied books and other printed material.

Inquirer Entertainment reported on Feb. 28 that the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) had taken the Philippines off the piracy watchlist, but not from the “special mention” list for continuing piracy issues that needed to be addressed.

The Motion Picture Anti-Film Piracy Council of the Philippines (MPAFPC) claimed the number of pirated movies illegally sourced from Philippine screens (recorded in moviehouses) has decreased every year since 2008, with 45 cases documented that year; 21 in 2009; 20 in 2010; and only one in 2011.


Imminent threat

Nevertheless, MPAFPC legal counsel Joji Alonso admitted that camcording in cinemas has remained an imminent threat. Alonso stressed: “The fight against illegal camcording is going to be a very long drawn-out battle. Last year there were four cases, all in Metro Manila. This month alone, there are already four cases. We called this briefing to raise the alarm once again.”

Ricketts urged moviegoers to intensify their vigilance. “To win the fight, Filipinos must avoid patronizing illegal copies of movies and TV shows. If you suspect something fishy, report it right away.”


Reward system


He revealed that the MPAFPC has set up a reward system for whistle-blowers: P5,000 for those who report illegal camcorders and P2,000 for security guards who help conduct the arrest in cooperation with the police. Ricketts said whistle-blowers can claim their reward money immediately from Dominic Du, MPAFPC president.

Under the Anti-Camcording Law (Republic Act No. 10088, passed in July 2010), Alonso said, the length of the illegal recording does not matter. “Once you start camcording, that’s a crime,” she stressed.

The problem is that illegal camcording is still considered a private crime, which requires a complainant to come forward for the case to progress. “Sometimes,” she lamented, “production houses and movie producers do not proceed with their complaints.”

After the briefing, the entertainment media was invited to a special screening of the critically acclaimed “Ang Babae sa Septic Tank” (starring comedian Eugene Domingo, directed by Marlon Rivera and produced by Alonso), considered the highest grossing indie film in Philippine movie history.

The film was picked for screening in celebration of World IP Day.

The annual World IP Day was established in 2001 by the World Intellectual Property Organization. The international Motion Picture Association (MPA) works with US embassies and local film communities to screen Hollywood blockbusters, as well as notable regional films.

In an interview in The Hollywood Reporter, Mike Ellis, president and managing director of MPA in Asia Pacific, said, “These events (related to IP Day) allow us to reflect on the contribution films make to our society—culturally, economically and socially—and prompt us to work closely together to ensure that filmmakers are supported by an environment where their work is respected and protected.”

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Entertainment, Intellectual Property Office, movie piracy, news, Optical Media Board
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our entertainment news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2023 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.