Optical Media Board (OMB) Chairman Ronald N. Ricketts has been undertaking an intensive information campaign against the evils of film piracy and it's been effective and gaining ground.
"We still conduct raids but lesser in frequency now," he said in an interview in his office. "We got assurances from the distributors we talked with that they are cooperating in the reduction of film piracy, and we're hoping to eliminate it once and for all.
"We hold intensive dialogues with practically all sectors of the buying public, those who regularly buy pirated movies and they are also cooperating with us."
His face beaming with hope, he added: "When the public is no longer buying pirated movies or music records, piracy - the nemesis of legitimate business - will definitely self-destruct and disappear."
In other countries, not only the distributors of pirated films but also the buyers are penalized, regardless of the number of copies bought.
OMB has also adopted the slogan, "BAWAL KOMOPYA," which is being used in all the information drive of the agency.
The National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) has highly commended the OMB for its excellent performance in confiscating pirated films and other counterfeit goods worth P1,130,073,350 covering the period Jan. 1 to Nov. 30, 2012.
OMB Chair Ricketts also revealed that their confiscation of replicating machines (tower burners), pirated optical media products and equipment increased by 123% in 2012. The annual and average street value of confiscated media products averaged P1 billion, according to Ricketts.
He said that the OMB conducted during the year inspection in almost all of the provinces and key cities though it has only one office which is located in Metro Manila.
Ricketts attributed much of the success of OMB to the coordination provided for regularly by various government agencies, such as the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC), Philippine National Police (PNP), Criminal and Detection Group (CIDG), Bureau of Customs (BOC), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), Intellectual Property Office (IPOph), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Business Software Alliances (BSA), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and the International Intellectual Institute of Washington D.C. among others.
The success of the OMB has caused the Office of the United States Representative to remove from its list Quiapo as being notorious for film piracy.
A number of violators of the OMB law and other pertinent laws have also been charged in court, according to Ricketts. For his excellent performance, Ricketts has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, "but we will not stop nor pause in pursuing the mandate of my office," Ricketts declared. "There's much more to do!"
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'Thy Womb' Fans Day At The Sky Dome
Christmas came early for admirers of superstar Nora Aunor and multi-awarded director Brillante Mendoza when they were treated to a "Thy Womb" Fans Day at Sky Dome, SM City North EDSA. The fun-filled event attended by close to a thousand fans was held just in time for the opening of the film last Christmas Day as part of the Metro Manila Film Festival.
"Thy Womb" has already received prestigious awards from various film festivals around the world. At the 69th Venice International Film Festival, the film won La Navicella / Venezia Cinema Prize, P. Nazareno Taddei Award (Special Mention) and Bisato d' Oro Award for Ms. Nora Aunor. More recently, Director Brillante Ma Mendoza won Best Director and Ms. Nora Aunor won Best Actress at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards at Brisbane, Australia. The film has also participated at the Toronto International Film Festival 2012, the Busan International Film Festival 2012, and the Dubai International Film Festival 2012.
Film enthusiasts were very excited to meet the "Thy Womb" team who had brought so much honor to the country - Director Brillante Mendoza, Superstar Nora Aunor, Ms. Mercedes Cabral, Ms. Glenda Kennedy, and Executive Producer Mr. Melvin Mangada at the event preceded by an hour of games sponsored by Nora's Friends Forever (NFF) and Noranians Worldwide (NOW).
Later in the afternoon, lucky fans won prizes in the Name the Brillante Mendoza Movie and Name the Nora Aunor Movie games. A special Q&A session also allowed the members of the press and "Thy Womb" fans to know more about the film.
The movie's scenic location in Tawi-Tawi also brought in Magbassa Kita Foundation, Inc. (MKFI) Founder and Chair Former Senator Santanina T. Rasul and Former Executive Director of National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Ms. Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman who showed their support for the film. Writer Ricky Lee and actress Rustica Carpio were also present.
SM Executives led by Vice President for Marketing Millie Dizon, AVP for Marketing Ruby Reyes, and SM City North EDSA Mall Manager Hershe Angeles welcomed the whole cast of "Thy Womb" and their fans.
"Thy Womb" is currently showing at SM Cinemas nationwide.
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Tidbits: Happy b-day greetings today, Jan. 3, go to Ms. Tec Syjuco-Golangco, Alice Roxas Briones, Vivian Lorraine, Rafael Perez, Mrs. Eugenia G. Puyat, Dr. Rolando U. Layos, Dr. Teresita R. Santiago, Grace Gines-Garcia, Jose Alejandrino, Dr. Genevieve Huang, Zeny Raymundo, Joven Saplagio, Mary Jane Lopez, Jennifer Padua, Vanessa Grindrud of ABS-CBN Star Magic, Adelaida S. Domingo of PCSO GM's office, and twins Katrina and Bianca Aguila... Happy wedding anniversary to Marlon and Hazel Dionela...