You may be familiar with the popular stealth-based game “Splinter Cell” or you may not, but here’s the thing: covert agents will keep their eyes peeled, or better said their night-vision goggles (no joke about it), for people who use camcorders in movie theaters.
Turn off your phones, ready your pop-corn and soda, and beware of creeps who look like spies ripped from a James Bond movie.
“This is a warning kasi ‘yong alam nila ‘yong napapanood lang nila sa mga napalabas na,” Ricardo Blancaflor, Director General at IPOP (Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines), said.
“But now, because of night vision, passive ‘to so hindi nila makikita ‘to,” he continued.
“I just wanna warn them, hihigpit kami ngayon.”
We’re not entirely sure what he said, and we don’t trust Google translate, but “warning” and “night vision” are certainly English words capable of goose-bumping any moviegoer, pirate or not.
The initiative comes after Blancaflor attended last year’s World Intellectual Property Day to discuss the country’s efforts to stop the production of counterfeited goods (such as CDs). While the general idea was that Philippines did a rather good job on that end, this year’s reports show that the number of counterfeited CDs is going up once again.
“Right now, hindi na tayo ang major source,” Atty. Joji Alonso of the Motion Pictures Anti-Film Piracy Council (MPAFPC) said.
“Bumaba na tayo.”
As far as the movie industry is concerned, in 2008 the number of pirated flicks coming from the Philippines was 45, dropping to 21 the next year, 20 in 2010, 1 in 2011, and slightly going up in 2012 (4).
Optical Media Board’s Chairman Ronnie Ricketts said:
“I’m trying to bring it out and spread it out that we’re doing not just operation, information, but at the same time you feel them. You just don’t go force by force, sometimes you go behind them, sideways, and it’s what’s happening.”
He’s referring to the fact the country’s government has been offering supportive programs and scholarships to various vendors, so that they stay away from illegal trades. The programs’ financial support came from the DBP (Development Bank of the Philippines), assisted by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
However, those caught trading illegal goods are vendors who do not qualify for DBP’s and CHED’s programs.
“Slowly na kasi kahit papaano naa-address,” Blancaflor said.
“So it’s not a case of wala kang nagawa, it’s a case of so much has been done pero marami pa ring kulang.”
Despite these concerns, the USTR (United States Trade Representative) removed Philippines from its notorious markets list; a victory for the government’s anti-piracy programs, but for how long remains to be seen.
Stay tuned to find out more!