Night vision goggles now being used to catch illegal camcorders
As part of its ongoing campaign to eliminate illegal camcording in the Philippines, the local screen community has increased security measures in all cinemas countrywide.
Statistics reveal an alarming growth in the number of illegal camcords that have been forensically matched to the Philippines this year. Ten released copies have been recently traced back to local cinemas in Mandaluyong, Quezon City, Laguna, and Manila from January to October, which posts a significant increase from four cases in the year 2012 and one in 2011.
This prompted the Optical Media Board (OMB), National Cinema Association of the Philippines (NCAP), Motion Picture Anti-Film Piracy Council of the Philippines (MPAFPC), and Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to once again put all officers on high alert.
“We remain steadfast in implementing zero-tolerance for violators of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). Criminal enforcement goes hand in hand with the extensive assessment and management of technologies and techniques used in camcording, and these will be key methods to reduce incidents across the Philippines,” said OMB Chairman Ronnie Ricketts. He further remarked that OMB operatives with the aid of the Philippine National Police have carried out tighter security measures on both local and international movie screenings. Both groups have also doubled efforts to investigate if large criminal networks are involved in perpetuating the trade of illegal content and seize all operations immediately.
Dominic Du of NCAP and MPAFPC has expressed that patronage of pirated movies motivates vendors to continue criminal activities. “The Philippines used to lead blockbuster screenings in the region, but we are now trailing our neighbors. If these numbers remain on the board in the coming years, film distributors will be discouraged to schedule local premieres at much earlier dates. The public collectively can play their part by being vigilant and helping to keep their cinemas camcord-free. We encourage them to report any illegal camcording activity to cinema management during the screening of movies.”
Du also adds that the time variance from the earliest date of screening to the first recorded camcord is alarmingly short, which means that the violators are now becoming more sophisticated in illegally capturing and distributing movies from cinemas across all Philippine regions. “The range and access to gadgets are a challenge to our strategies but we employ a very strong force against threats to intellectual property. We are working closely with the OMB and PNP to fully implement tighter security measures in cinemas to deter these criminals,” said Du
According to IPO Director General Atty. Ricardo Blancaflor, the anti-piracy body is now operating under new tactics and technology to apprehend and prosecute violators. Night vision goggles are used in all cinemas to identify and apprehend camcorders. Enforcers also actively sweep piracy hotspots in the country to seize pirated DVDs and other products that infringe Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).
The campaign is an extension of the Anti-camcording Law (RA 10088) of 2010, which states that any person who is caught using or attempting to use an audiovisual recording device to transmit or make a copy of any part of a performance in an exhibition facility of any cinematographic film or other audiovisual work will be charged with a fine of 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.