Illegal movie downloading and piracy of DVD content
Canada’s anti-piracy law penalizes:
The Philippines is the single largest source country of immigrants and migrants in Canada at present. With almost one million Filipinos spread across the country, they are a significant consumer sector that product, entertainment, and service providers strive to attract and pursue.
As this consumer sector grows, the hunger for home made products such as food, literature, and entertainment such as movies and music has increased.
It is a common fact that piracy of dvd’s and streaming portals have been resorted to as a convenient but illegal way to assuage the hunger of this fast growing sector for Filipino content in their entertainment, at the expense of killing the business of legitimate content owners such as Regal Films, and VIVA entertainment .
The piracy situation in Toronto has already alarmed one of the largest movie production companies in the Philippines.
In order to protect its IPR (Intelletual Property Rights) and content rights across North America, the Philippine ‘s VIVA Entertainment has authorized its North America partner and IPR license owner, 24h North America Inc., to pursue legal actions against persons or businesses that are illegally distributing, broadcasting , downloading, uploading or viewing pirated VIVA Entertainment movies online or in DVDs.
It will be a tough battle, but as content providers continue to invest on systems and platforms for their consumers abroad, they believe that certain conditions have to be in place to avoid illegal content consumption.
VIVA Entertainment, and 24h North America Inc., will therefore pursue technologies to monitor piracy and illegal distribution of content through peer-to-peer and file sharing networks, according to Vincent del Rosario, director of VIVA Entertainment.
“We’re not monitoring people, we’re monitoring the content. If people go to the pirated content to download it, they may become subject to our monitoring efforts,” del Rosario says.
When the movie and music industries began suing individuals in the U.S. for illegally sharing and downloading content, some of the damages were very high. In one case, a woman was ordered to pay $2 million for allegedly downloading two movies.
The Canadian government has put a maximum of $5,000 in damages for individual households that are caught downloading or distributing copyrighted content. However, websites that offer multiple titles could be hit $5,000 per download.
“It’s not meant to destroy the revenue streams of our fellow Filipinos,” said del Rosario. “It’s really to help change the perception specially of those in the USA and Canada and make them realize that downloading does harm and costs money.”
University of British Columbia Professor of Computer Science Richard Rosenberg said an update on Canada’s copyright law is overdue.
“This has been a long time coming,” he said. “Essentially make people aware of the law, and take very stringent action if they don’t behave according to what the copyrighters believe their rights are.”
Pirated online videos have reached a viewership of 65,000 per movie which is showing at the same time in the Philippines. A fresh theatrical released movie has a window of one month after DVD release before it reaches online streaming . Such sites showing movies at the same time as their theatrical release dates are those considered running pirate sites, as content owners are restricted to global media law processes.
These are the sites that are being currently monitored, and in due time, will be served accordingly, industry leaders say.