The Philippines’ film industry and cinema executives are optimistic that the Anti-Camcording Law of 2010 is a positive deterrent against piracy and intellectual property rights violation, with a 95% decrease in incidents of camcording in only two years of law enforcement. Reports indicate that in 2011, only one illegal camcording of a movie produced by Hollywood studios was forensically matched to the Philippines, compared to 20 in 2010 and 22 in 2009.
“This dramatic decrease in illegal camcording is a result of the effective and collaborative implementation and enforcement of the Anti-Camcording Law,” said Director General Ric Blancaflor of the Intellectual Property Office. “Under the efforts of the Department of Justice, the National Bureau for Investigation, the Philippine National Police, the Intellectual Property Office and the Optical Media Board. We are now able to expeditiously process interdictions and appropriate sanctions for apprehended offenders; thereby sending a strong message that illegal camcording is not tolerated and is a crime punishable with a severe fine and lengthy imprisonment.”
All exhibitors and cinema owners have been proactive in support of anti-camcording initiatives. Measures include covert and overt security, profiling and monitoring known members of camcording syndicates, CCTV, the use of night vision goggles as well as additional security measures for major releases and throughout the annual Metro Manila Film Festival. Anti-camcording posters and bi-lingual trailers have made the public more aware of requirements of the law and the penalties if apprehended. Some cinemas have translated collaterals in to local dialects for display in provincial cinemas.
Working hand-in-hand with the government and the cinema owners are the Motion Picture Anti-Film Piracy Council (MPAFPC) and the National Cinema Association of the Philippines (NCAP) — both industry funded agencies that monitor and report illegal camcording in all exhibition facilities in the country.
“The illegal replication and distribution of audiovisual materials via illegal camcording in our cinemas had almost killed the film industry and negatively impacted the country’s economy in terms of lost revenue and jobs,” said Mr. Dominic Du of the MPAFPC. “The Anti-Camcording Law has helped to revive the film industry and improve the confidence of local and international filmmakers and studios alike. Because of this important piece of legislation, we are very close to eradicating film piracy in the Philippines but more still needs to be done to protect locally-produced movie titles as most of these are camcorded.”
Since the law was passed there have been 96 interdictions on individuals caught using recording devices inside exhibition facilities, five arrests have taken place and those arrested are undergoing due legal process.