Saturday, May 10, 2014

OMB exec's assurance: We work 24/7

(April 25, PDI-Entertainment)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit

“We assure the public that we work 24/7,” said Optical Media Board (OMB) executive director Dennis Pinlac, one of the guests at the Philippine commemoration of World Intellectual Property Day in Makati last week.

“Whether in Metro Manila [or in other areas], we enforce the law—our approach is tough, in the sense that we go to the root of the problem. After raids or inspections, we don’t only confiscate the goods; we sit down and talk with the vendors and [make them aware] of alternative means of livelihood,” Pinlac told reporters. 

Other speakers discussed intellectual property and measures taken to curb theft and piracy in the country. The guests include Philippine National Police Senior Superintendent Chief William Macavinta, Intellectual Property Office Director-General Ricardo Blancaflor and Philippine Association of the Record Industry (Pari) chairMarivic Benedicto.

The OMB is mandated to regulate the manufacture of optical media and impose penalties for their illegal reproduction. Pinlac stressed the importance of teamwork in OMB operations against the sale of bootleg discs, including CD and DVD copies of local and foreign music, movies and TV shows.
“We cannot police without the cooperation of the PNP. Pari has also been very active in guiding us,” Pinlac noted.

OMB Chair Ronnie Ricketts was not present because, Pinlac said, the event coincided with another OMB activity, “a special project.”

The “very busy” Ricketts was part of a team that visited Washington, DC, last January. Pinlac told the Inquirer: “He was invited by the International Intellectual Property Alliance, which rates copyright compliance. In 2012, the Philippines was on the priority watch list. Last year, we were taken off the list. On that trip, the people who draft the list wanted to hear, from our chair himself, how we did it.”

The OMB, Pinlac added, consistently tries to be “very transparent.” He said the antipiracy campaign was not limited to seizure of illegally produced items. More important, he noted, the board is seeing changing attitudes.

He explained, “When we change one mind, it snowballs. We take the campaign to schools. One child may then get to tell his father, ‘We’re killing industries and people lose work, Dad.’”

Pinlac showed a stack of stickers and posters with antipiracy slogans. “These were made by students. They told the chairman, ‘Sir Ronnie, you can use these.’ He was touched to experience the ripple effect.”

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