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70 sacks of pirated DVDs seized in Laguna

/ 05:42 PM August 13, 2014

INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

CAMP VICENTE LIM, Laguna, Philippines—A weeklong drive to curb piracy resulted in the confiscation of thousands of pirated films and pornographic materials in DVDs in Laguna province.

The confiscated items, contained in about 70 rice sacks, were turned over on Wednesday by the Laguna police to the Optical Media Board (OMB), which in turn planned to auction off the items as recyclable materials.

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In a phone interview, Senior Supt. Romulo Sapitula, Laguna police director, said the police conducted raids in major cities and municipalities in Laguna from August 1 to 7.

Confiscated were 29,013 pieces of DVDs, of which 276 contained pornography, worth about P100,000.

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OMB Chairman Ronnie Ricketts, in a separate phone interview, said the items were taken to their office in Manila.

Instead of destroying them, Rickets said they were considering bidding off the items to private entities. The DVDs, including the paper used as title covers, could be recycled, he said.

Asked if there were risks that the illegal DVDs could be resold back into the market, Ricketts said there would be none, “because the DVDs, once they are in our office, are exposed to sun and rain. They would not work anymore,” he said.

In April this year, the Office of the United States Trade Representative has removed the Philippines from its Special 301 Watch List, which according to Section 301 of the US Trade Act, identifies countries with issues concerning intellectual property rights.

Rickets said the Philippines had been on the list for the last 20 years.

“This is very significant because (having been removed) will help our economy,” he said.

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TAGS: auction, Copyright, Crime, DVD, intelletual property rights, Laguna police, law enforcement, Movies, News, Optical Media Board, Piracy, Police, police operation, Pornography, recycling, Romulo Sapitula, Ronnie Ricketts, seizure
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