Cinemas use night vision goggles vs illegal camcorders

Posted at 06/25/14 6:20 PM

OMB Chairman Ronnie Ricketts and acting Executive Director Dennis Pinlac train security personnel on the use of night vision goggles to spot hidden camcorders in cinemas.

MANILA - Cinemas are now using night vision goggles (NVGs) to detect illegal camcorders in cinemas, the Optical Media Board (OMB) said Wednesday.

OMB Chairman Ronnie Ricketts said while the Philippines has been removed by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) from the 2014 Special 301 Watch List, the country should not be complacent.

Expert teams will be fitted with NVGs and stationed in strategic places in theaters to swiftly detect anyone who will attempt to illegally record a movie.

"Our removal from the Special 301 Watch List is a massive achievement for the whole Filipino community. However, we should not be complacent. The OMB is committed to protecting the cinemas and both the local and foreign creative and film industries so the employment of NVGs is another important strategy in our joint efforts to prevent movie theft in cinemas, especially with the upcoming blockbuster season," Ricketts said.

Genric Holding Limited, the Motion Picture Association (MPA) representative in the Philippines, continues to deploy overt and covert teams equipped with NVGs across Metro Manila and the surrounding provinces to deter individuals and criminal syndicates involved in illegal camcording.

"While we have increased security in cinemas, we encourage audiences to keep an eye out for film pirates and illegal camcording activities during movie screenings, and alert security personnel," said Atty. Rolando Duenas, representative of the National Cinema Association of the Philippines.

Apart from the employment of NVG teams, the OMB regularly deploys agents to conduct routine inspections of theaters.

The OMB also implements various anti-piracy initiatives such as student workshops to educate on movie piracy and operations to deter, apprehend and report violators of the Philippine Anti-Camcording Act of 2010.

The Anti-Camcording Act of 2010 prohibits unauthorized use of audio-visual recording devices for unauthorized recording of cinematographic films or any audio-visual work to distribute and/or exhibit.

Penalties for caught violators shall be charged a fine worth P50,000 to P750,000 (US$1,000 to US$17,000) and will face imprisonment of a minimum of six months and one day to six years and one day.