After a few recent online articles regarding the seizure of millions of pesos worth of pirated DVDs in Iloilo City and Bacolod, I have to wonder. While the reports don’t indicate who purchased the illegal videos, I imagine a few foreigners have bought a pirated digital video disc or two. (Lead photo source: DVD raid from GMA News Online)
Buying Pirated DVDs in the Philippines
Selling pirated DVDs in the Philippines doesn’t rank up there with “frustrated murder,” it still is illegal. Republic Act 9239 (Optical Media Act of 2003) ensures the protection and promotion of intellectual property rights.
Violators of the law can face three to six years in jail. If the offender is an alien, the person shall immediately be deported after serving his sentence, and shall, thereafter, be refused entry into the country.
Personally, I don’t know of any expats manufacturing or selling DVDs in the Philippines. Most of the foreigners I know aren’t that stupid. Ok, well, I did write about that 62-year-old guy in Bacolod who was arrested for uploading his own sex videos. I don’t know about you, but a video featuring some naked old geezer about my age doesn’t hold much appeal for me. Maybe the guy was pushing it online to geriatrics in American nursing homes with poor eyesight.
Numerous Outlets in Iloilo City Selling Pirated DVDs
But I’ve spoken with a few foreigners who used to regularly purchase pirated DVDs. A couple of them lived in Iloilo City at the time and told me where the cheapest place to buy them at Robinsons Mall was located.
Kiosks selling pirated DVDs line the streets of downtown Iloilo City. But don’t let me pick on the foreigners only, my own Filipino brother-in-law in Guimaras also purchases them.
Whenever I ask my niece or nephew from Guimaras that visits us if he’s already seen a flick that debuts on our HBO or Fox Movie Channels for the first time, he nods his head “yes.”
“Papa already got that,” he informs me.
Former Aquino Aide caught buying pirated DVDs
But look, years ago, even B.S. Aquino’s chief political adviser, Ronald Llamas, used to buy pirated DVDs. That’s his picture in the next shot that was taken by an inquirer.net reporter.
Llamas was accompanied by two security aides and two women. It took him about 30 minutes to scour through the items before purchasing P2,000, $40 US Dollars, worth of pirated DVDs.
But the former president wasn’t too concerned about his adviser’s actions. He could just have been “passing by” the mall, said Aquino.
Look, I get it. No one really cares anymore. Lots of folks feel justified in ripping off a “big company” that has “plenty of money.”
Personally, I rarely watch any DVDs anyway. I’m content to zip through the channel guide of our Cignal Satellite with the remote and drive my poor wife crazy.
Truth be told, I don’t channel surf during my favorite new program, “Street Outlaws.” Nor do I flip the remote when “Ang Probinsyano” with Coco Martin airs every Monday through Friday.
But give me the remote anytime and let me scan the programming guide. I never have to get up to load a new DVD.
And, if I start wearing adult diapers, I can stay on the couch all weekend and never have to get up to pee.