January 5, 2021
MMFF Goes After Movie Pirates
Criminal charges are set to be filed today against 54 individuals caught by the Optical Media Board (OMB) in coordination with the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF)’s Anti-Piracy Task Force illegally streaming, downloading and distributing film entries of the on-going film festival.
Violations of Republic Act 8293 otherwise known as Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines and RA 9239 or Optical Media Act of 2003 shall be filed against four persons who were taken into custody by agents of OMB in separate operations in Manila City and Quezon City.
Same charges shall be filed at the Department of Justice (DOJ) against 49 persons behind social media accounts for illegally streaming, downloading and commercially distributing MMFF movies online.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and concurrent MMFF Chairman Danilo Lim said they will keep on working together with members of the task force to make sure that violators are caught and brought to justice.
“Remember: Piracy is a crime. We shall pursue these violators to the full extent of the law and we shall keep a close watch against film pirates,” said Lim.
He also thanked OMB Chairman Christian Natividad for their swift action in going after the violators as he looks forward welcoming him in the Execom in the MMFF 2021.
“Let us not watch or buy pirated copies, not only that it is illegal but patronizing them would discredit Filipino filmmakers' hard work, talent, money, tears and blood put into their projects,” Lim added.
The MMFF Anti-Piracy Task Force, headed by Executive Committee member Congressman Dan Fernandez, coordinated with the OMB, Philippine National Police, Department of Information and Communications and Technology, National Bureau of Investigation, Globe, Upstream, and movie producers.
In line with this, Lim also ordered the creation of a permanent working committee for MMFF to work with law enforcers to arrest and prosecute violators of the anti-piracy law.
Lim also urged the public to watch all entries only at the MMFF’s official partner. All 10 MMFF entries can be watched exclusively via Upstream.ph until January 7.
“The best way we could help our local moviemakers and producers is by not engaging in movie piracy. We urge everyone to report cases of piracy or anyone caught recording and selling MMFF entries,” said Lim.
The 10 official entries are: Magikland, Coming Home, The Missing, Tagpuan, Isa Pang Bahaghari, Suarez, the Healing Priest, Mang Kepweng, Ang Lihim ng Bandanang Itim, Pakboys Takusa, The Boy Foretold by the Stars, and Fan Girl.
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