Stopping piracy in the hands of local officials, says OMB Chair

DAGUPAN CITY, May 18 — Optical Media Board (OMB) Chairman Ronnie Ricketts said stopping piracy of CDs and DVDs lies in the hands of local officials.

In the anti-piracy dialogues held at the city hall and University of Luzon on Thursday, Ricketts urged public officials to check and cancel permits of business establishments that are registered as general merchandise but are selling the illegal products.

On the same day, prior to conducting the dialogues, the OMB together with the National Bureau of Investigation raided several stalls around the downtown area netting more than a million pesos worth of the illegal merchandise.

He noted that the majority of vendors of pirated DVDs and VCDs are Muslims who were forced to leave their homeland in Mindanao because of the conflict there.

Deprived of livelihood, these Muslims resorted to selling the pirated products, which are easy to sell, he said.

The OMB, he added, is working towards deputizing local agents to confiscate pirated materials, but he insisted that conducting frequent raids is a very difficult thing to accomplish.

“It is difficult to make raids continually and it’s not my style. My style is to have dialogue with them [vendors], reach out to them in ways that would result in dialogues,” he said.

The chairman suggested giving some timeline to the vendors to gradually shift their businesses to legal ones.

Ricketts also discouraged online piracy, or downloading of copyrighted materials. (ANL/ARRF-PIA 1 Pangasinan)

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