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The Anti Camcording Act (RA 10088)

I highly doubt any of my readers sneak in cameras to document movies, but if you’re a fan of the flea market DVD bonanza, you’ll know what I mean. It’s no secret that movie piracy is rampant in this country, and there is definitely a blind eye cast upon this. It appears that the fines are slapped on those caught recording inside movie theaters.

Today, it’s now a law. And here are the penalties:

Any person who will be found guilty of violating the provisions of the Anti-Camcording Law shall be subject to a fine of PhP 50,000 to PhP 750, 000 (US$ 1,000 to 17,000) and will face imprisonment of a minimum six months and one day to six years and one day. Individuals who commit the punishable acts for the purpose of sale, rental or other commercial distribution shall suffer the penalty in the maximum. Foreign offenders shall face immediate deportation after payment of the fine and serving his/her sentence, and will permanently be refused entry to the Philippines. Offenders who are employees of or hold a seat in government will perpetually be disqualified from public office, and will forfeit his/her right to vote and participate in public election for five (5) years.

Attached below is the full press release.

Anti Piracy Law

So what do you think? Personally, it’s a small start but a start nonetheless. Are we bound to see anti-piracy laws for bootleg software and file sharing through torrents?

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By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

6 replies on “The Anti Camcording Act (RA 10088)”

I have to question if anyone (locally) was actually ever caught with recording a movie during a screening – do we have data/statistics on this from the PNP? My sense has always been that the bootlegs sold in the streets all come from China or some other place, if only because the bootlegs start selling *before* we even start screening those movies. If I’m right, then this is not really solving anything, but a PR move to appease the studios who keep imposing “solutions” that have not been thought through.

Worse, this only adds inconvenience to people who want to watch on a whim — I’ve lost track of the times I’ve wanted to see a movie but decided not to because I had a laptop with me and short of an explanation that the built-in iSight is not good enough to record the movie, they would still want me to surrender the thing — but that cinema security won’t take accountability if it gets stolen, if damage is incurred, if my data gets compromised, etc.

Hi Jeff, I’m Magel from the PR agency of the Motion Picture Association.

Unfortunately, we don’t have the exact figures for you (will try to secure), but in an interview during yesterday’s press briefing, Mr. Mike Robinson, the senior vice president for Content Protection and Chief Operations of the Motion Picture Association of America revealed that in their operations, they have forensically traced that most of the pirated films being confiscated around the world have originated in the Philippines. Copies from the Philippines were found in North and South America, Europe and Africa. He also said that in 2009, nine percent of all those camcords that they found were traced to theatres in Southeast Asia, with the Philippines dominantly leading the pack. Mr. Ed Neubronner, the Regional Director Content Protection Operations Asia-Pacific of the Motion Picture Association-International added that the Philippines is the “most problematic” in terms of camcording (not even Indonesia or Malaysia, or Thailand) which is why they are pushing this initiative in the country now, making us the first in Southeast Asia to adopt an Anti-Camcording Law.

Hope it helps 🙂

Hi Magel! Thanks for providing those numbers. It most definitely helps to be data-driven, and like I said I can only infer from my personal experience and those in my circles — admittedly not a good sample as I am from the city, and most of these recordings may actually be happening outside the metro where there are less sophisticated security measures. While I am not against putting this forward as a law, I feel this “small start” is a slippery slope, and if not kept in check both in the legislation of similar laws that would inevitably succeed this one, as well as in the actual implementation/enforcement, I am concerned that we might one day find ourselves in the same ridiculous MPAA vs. everyone situation (these examples come to mind). It’s laws like these where the authorities easily over-reach and along the way, there will be unfortunate guinea pig who will take the hammer while the bigger criminals happily continue going about their business. So here’s hoping three things: (1) that we didn’t push for this law just to be the first in Southeast Asia, while that may be an attractive title to hold (while that’s a better title than SEA’s Mecca of Piracy); (2) that we keep the implementation of this law still within the confines of reason and that authorities not over-reach, and (3) that we get the results we are all expecting by pushing this law forward. 🙂

Yes, I do hope for the same things. I think with the involvement of concerned private sectors (i.e. film distributors, producers, and cinema associations), whose industries are the ones directly damaged by counterfeiting films, the issue will properly be addressed and help curtail, if not fully eradicate the problem of unauthorized camcording activities. Sana.

But the best way is to still have everyone’s involvement 🙂

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