New OMB chief Ronnie Ricketts steps up campaign against piracy

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Bannered by its rallying slogan "Bawal Kumopya," the Ronnie Ricketts-led Optical Media Board (OMB) revealed its plans and agenda in minimizing rampant video and audio piracy here in the country.


A rap jingle to combat rampant piracy?

This is just one of the innovations currently being implemented by newly appointed Optical Media Board (OMB) Chairman Ronnie Ricketts, aside from the raids routinely conducted by the government bureau against vendors and manufacturers of pirated audio and video materials.

"We're trying to tap the youth na maging part of our campaign, kasi ang kabataan, 'yan ang magandang magsabi sa atin like sa mga magulang na mali 'yong ginagawa ng marami sa atin na pagbili ng mga pirated materials.

"Sila ang buhay natin [the youth segment] so we're tapping those sectors. Now we'll be going over the provinces to promote 'yong anti-piracy campaign na 'Bawal Kumopya,' so ito 'yong bagong ad campaign natin," Ronnie told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) during the Metro Manila Film Festival Parade of Stars held last December 24.

Ronnie and some of his staff participated in the parade, complete with their own float to show not only their support for the annual local festival but more to emphasize the OMB's commitment to eradicate or at least minimize the problems of illegal piracy here in the country.

LOOKING AT THE BIG PICTURE. The OMB's decision to choose the 35th MMFF as the launch pad for its campaign was symbolic, considering that the event is highly considered as the biggest gathering of local commercial films in a single year.

Piracy during the season, unfortunately, is also rampant as illegal copies of the participating movies—usually all crammed into one disc with horrendous quality—end up being peddled immediately after the festival's opening.

Ronnie confessed that the problem of piracy is so big, that's why he maintains a realistic and conservative view in addressing the issue rather than offering grand promises based on perceived immediate solutions.

"Siguro sa percentage babawasan natin talaga, kasi hindi natin kayang gawing hundred percent agad. We're going to do this step by step that's why we have our ad campaign, provincial tours, and at the same time we're putting up satellite offices sa Cebu, Iloilo, Davao, and other areas outside the capital para ma-check natin, kasi hindi lang naman sa Manila ang problema kundi pati sa provinces."

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Ricketts has been soliciting the support of other concerned groups and individuals, like colleagues in show business who are now in the position to help the efforts because of their influence even outside the industry.

Former OMB czar Edu Manzano—who resigned to concentrate on his vice presidential bid to back up administration party standard bearer Gilbert Teodoro in the upcoming national elections—has reportedly pledged his support for his successor's programs.

"He's very supportive of our cause, at the same time we're supporting him as well," Ronnie said in closing.


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