MPA cracks down on Southeast Asia piracy

Anti-camcording campaign under way in Singapore

SINGAPORE -- As MPA president Dan Glickman made his way toward Asia and the Beijing Olympics on Friday, the association was taking steps against pirates in Southeast Asia.

The industry group, together with local distributors and cinema exhibitors, rolled out anti-camcorder warning messages in all cinemas in Singapore. In addition, exhibitors are stepping up security measures at cinemas, while the MPA is working with related government agencies to strengthen illegal camcording laws laws, the MPA said Friday.

Singapore has seen a sudden rise in camcorder cases recently. Three cases were reported in the past two months, compared with one in 2006 and one in '07.

The association also lauded a new city ordinance that criminalizes the unauthorized recording of movies in cinemas in Manila, the Philippines, that took effect Tuesday. It provides for penalties of up to six months in prison or a fine of as much as $110. Since January, there have been 29 cases of illegal camera recording in the Philippines, a 322% increase from all of 2007.

In Thailand, authorities arrested five Thai soldiers who were running a pirated DVD ring out their army base and distributing to dealers in Bangkok and two neighboring provinces, the MPA said.

In the Asia Pacific region, the number of successful unauthorized recordings has risen exponentially. There have been 70 from the region so far this year, a 412% increase over the same period in 2007, the group said.
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