MMDA holds seminar on 'camcording'
Mike Frialde (The Philippine Star) - October 21, 2014 - 4:28pm

MANILA, Philippines - Alarmed by the apparent rise in the number of arrested camcording pirates, the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) on Tuesday led a workshop aimed to strengthen the fight against movie piracy.

Joining MMFF in the renewed drive against movie piracy are the Motion Picture Anti-Film Piracy Council (MPAFPC) and the Motion Picture Association (MPA).

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino, who also serves as chairman of the MMFF, said the workshop held at the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig City aims to bring movie industry stakeholders together to reinforce the country’s commitment in ridding the country of film piracy by providing clear guidelines on procedures regarding the arrest, detention and filing of criminal charges against illegal camcorders that would later lead to their convictions.

“Many Filipinos are still unaware that illegal camcording is a form of theft. When film pirates make illegal copies of an original work, they deprive the artists of their hard-earned revenues. This could cripple the Filipino filmmaking  industry, and stifle local producers from creating home-grown movies that we all love and enjoy,” said Tolentino.

“On the other hand, stealing is stealing and is wrong no matter how you look at it. What film pirates steal is basically copyright and intellectual property that does not belong to them. Among the most notorious are those who engage in the unauthorized use of camcorders that record and basically make copies of movies shown in theaters or similar places where films are exhibited. In the past few years these illegal practices grown by leaps and bounds, it’s growth has paralleled the rapid development of technology which enable perpetrators to make perfect copies while avoiding being apprehended,” added Tolentino.

As per records from the MPAFPC, there were 44 illegal camcorders arrested in 2012. Last year, 16 illegal camcorders were arrested and this year to date, 27 illegal camcorders have so far been arrested.

Under Republic Act 10088 (Anti-Camcording Act of 2010), those arrested for possession and use or caught attempting to use an audiovisual recording  device to transmit or make a copy of a cinematographic film (including its soundtrack) while being shown at an exhibition will face imprisonment from between six months and one day to six years and one day. In addition, arrested illegal camcorders will also be made to pay a fine of between P50,000 and P750,000.

“We want to ensure that everyone is on the same page in implementing the law, and that everyone has a clear understanding of the execution of their duties in bringing intellectual property offenders to justice,” said Joji Alonso, legal counsel of the MPAFPC.

“By conducting this workshop, we believe that issues can be resolved and that industry stakeholders can make the Anti-Camcording Law a more effective deterrent against movie piracy,” Alonso added.

One of the highlights of yesterday’s workshop was the launch of the MPAFPC’s newest movie trailer to stress on the importance of fighting movie piracy. The short trailer features actor and model Derek Ramsay playing the role of an undercover police officer as he and his partner, model and car racer Gaby dela Merced chase and arrest an illegal camcorder. The chase begins inside a movie house and ends in the street.

The MPAFPC said the trailer will soon be shown in local movie theaters to boost public awareness on illegal camcording as a crime.

“Filipinos are also encouraged to play a part in upholding the Anti-Camcording Law by reporting any suspected incidence of illegal camcroding in cinemas, and by refraining from obtaining pirated copies of movies either as CDs, DVDs or downloading them from illegal sites,” the MPAFPC said in a statement.

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