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OMB files raps vs. illegal online streamers of MMFF films

January 06, 2021 - Wednesday 9:01 PM by PNA

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MANILA – Criminal charges have been filed before state prosecutors against individuals involved in the illegal streaming of movies from the ongoing Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).

In complaint-affidavits filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday, the Optical Media Board through Manuel J. Mangubat, chief of the enforcement and investigation division, named a number of individuals who allegedly streamed the movies for a fee.

Mangubat, in his complaint, said the movies "are being offered for sale and distributed by opportunists, counterfeiters, and pirates who stream these movies on their social media accounts without permission from the producers or copyright owners of said films."

The charges are for violation of the Optical Media Board Act of 2003 (Republic Act 9239) and the Intellectual Property Code (Republic Act 8293).

Under these laws, those involved in the illegal sale, rental, distribution, importation, or any other commercial activity involving optical media can be meted with 90 days imprisonment and a fine of up to PHP50,000.

The complaint said the individuals charged anywhere from PHP20 to PHP150 for the viewing of the movies and used social media accounts.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, the MMFF is offering film entries online.

The festival runs from Dec. 25, 2020 to Jan. 8, 2021 and is aimed at giving Filipino filmmakers an opportunity to showcase local film making expertise through the website Upstream.ph/mmff.