MUMBAI: On 15 August, distributors and cinema exhibitors in Singapore together with the Motion Pictures Association (MPA) jointly rolled out anti-camcording warning messages in all cinemas in Singapore. This campaign, supported by the HIP Alliance, is targeted at raising public awareness to prevent illegal camcording.
Singapore has seen a sudden rise in camcord cases in the last few months. Three cases were reported in the past two months as compared to just one case in 2006 and one in 2007. The MPA and the industry is going all out to raise public awareness that recording a movie in a theatre using any recording devices is strictly not allowed and is illegal.
The MPA is leading the local industry’s three-pronged strategy in deterring camcording. Besides this public awareness campaign, exhibitors are stepping up security vigilance at cinemas, while the MPA is working with related government agencies to strengthen laws against camcording.
"The HIP Alliance, an outreach initiative by IPOS, has worked very closely with MPA for the past years in promoting and educating Singaporeans in IP awareness and understanding. The end in mind is to bring about a generation of firm believers that will respect IP and live a piracy-free lifestyle. We hope Singaporeans will support original works and avoid committing infringing acts that will harm the movie industry," urged Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) director-general Liew Woon Yin.
"The impact that camcord piracy has on the movie industry and on the jobs the industry creates is enormous, as copies of movies are often made available on the internet and duplicated onto pirated DVDs within hours of movies opening in the cinemas. In South East Asia, we are working very hard with governments and local industries in neighboring countries like Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand to tackle this problem that plagues not only our members’ movies but also local movies. In Thailand, for example, every Thai movie is camcorded from a local cinema on the day of its release and is made available within three days after on pirated DVDs and sold on the streets. This joint effort in Singapore is as such critical to deterring illegal camcording from gaining a foothold in the country," said Motion Picture Association president and managing director, Asia-Pacific Mike Ellis.
In Asia Pacific, the number of unauthorized recordings has risen exponentially. In 2007, there were 33 successful camcord cases from the region; that number represented a 65 per cent increase compared to 2006 when there were 20. Films that are camcorded in the first few days of their release are distributed on peer-to-peer file-sharing networks within hours or used as masters by optical disc replication factories to make illegal DVDs for distribution around the world.