Brought about by the digital technology, piracy is like a plague that spread all over the world. The most affected, initially, was the music industry because of the CD, a storage medium that can be reproduced even in home computers.
And the birth of mp3, a compressed file for music, paved the way for file sharing in the internet. At dahil sa much improved email system ay puwede nang ipadala ang mp3 file via emails.
As technology improved, the movie industry was the next victim. From the tapes, movies are now stored in CD. Hindi lang naman kasi music o songs ang puwedeng ilagay sa compact discs kundi pati na rin video. At dahil sa efficient compression method kaya nagkakasya ang isang full length movie sa CD.
At present, DVD (digital video discs) is the most common storage media used for movies. At dahil madaling mag-reproduce kaya nagkalat ang mga pirated DVD hindi lang sa Metro Manila kundi pati na rin sa provinces.
an ambulant vendor peddling pirated dvd in the main street of Cainta, Rizal
Nakakagulat malaman na ang mga pirated dvd ay inilalako na ng mga vendors mula sa bitbit na bag o bayong. Pero may mga vendors din na kariton ang gamit na para bang moving gallery ang kanilang paninda.
The pirated dvds containing music or movies are sold from 25 pesos per piece up to a high of 35 pesos. “Pag bago ho ang laman medyo mahal talaga,” said a vendor who bragged that his dvds were all tested (like passing through a quality assurance system).
A blank dvd costs around 10 pesos in the low-price stores like CD-R King. For the CD or DVD to look like the real thing, printers charge 10 pesos per piece. That’s already 20 pesos in cost, wala pa ang laman na movie o music at wala pa rin ang case.
A businessman said that it’s difficult to think how the pirates could earn from the 25 pesos selling price of a movie or music DVD. “Parang lugi pa sa puhunan, “said the businessman. Perhaps a systematic distribution system is the key to the low price.
Eh paano naman nabubuo ang mga pirated DVDs? Saan galing ang contents? A movie industry veteran shyly commented that it’s a delicate issue to tackle because there are 2 kinds of pirated DVD.
The low quality DVD is a cheap imitation. “Maingay ang audio, halatang recorded lang kung saan at hindi original. Minsan naman malabo ang video dahil wala sa focus kaya halata rin na peke.”
The high quality DVD movie is a puzzle. Ayon sa isang video technician ay walang duda na sa editing room galing ang clean copy. Although far-fetched, another probability is the involvement of the producer himself.
A simple question that has no simple answer—bakit kapag nagtinda ka ng drugs sa kalye ay huhulihin ka at ikukulong samantalang pag nagtinda ka ng pirated DVD ay puwede ka pa nga sa mall? Drugs and pirated DVD are both illegal, di ba?
Pirated DVDs selling for 30 pesos each in Metrowalk, Mandaluyong City
Bakit nagrereklamo ang OMB ever since? That the law against piracy has no teeth? That the existing law against piracy needs clarification. Ano ba talaga ang problema sa batas? Bakit walang mag-push sa congress to make a stronger law on the issue?
A movie industry veteran said that piracy can only be curbed when the citizens cooperate. “Subukan mong hulihin ang bumibili ng pirated DVD at siguradong mawawala ang mga vendors na iyan.”
This reminds us of Ronald Llamas, the political adviser of President Noynoy Aquino, who was photographed buying pirated DVDs worth P2,000. With the help of social media, it was difficult to deny the photo.
And the defense of Mr. Llamas was “I forgot that I am now a member of the cabinet.” He thought he was still an ordinary citizen. Ibig sabihin ay talagang habit na ni Mr. Llamas na bumili ng pirated DVD. Valued customer pala siya.
To fight back, music CDs are going on sale with bargains as low as 50 pesos per CD. With the movies, sometimes there are promo prices down to P100 for an original DVD. But the sales clerk said that sales is slow, “Kasi ho mas mura pa rin ang pirated.”
Most of the pirated DVDs come from Malaysia, with information from a vendor. And the port of entry is Zamboanga. From the looks of it, isang malaking network ang production at distribution system ng pirated DVDs.
From a layman’s point of view, let’s think small. Umpisahan daw natin sa pinakamaliit o sa pinakamababang unit, i.e. the vendor. Dapat malaman kung hindi lang kung saan siya kumukuha kundi dapat ring malaman ang dahilan kung bakit siya nagtitinda ng ilegal na bagay na gaya ng pirated DVD.
Ang isa pang opinion ay nagsasabing magkaroon ng awareness o campaign to let people know the gravity of damage that pirated items are doing to the music and movie industries. Culture daw natin ang may problema sa ganitong issues.
There are many ways to skin a cat. But the most important element is the desire to skin the cat. Meron kayang desire ang government natin?
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