As innovation and technology continues to change how people view and experience cinema, the internet is perhaps the most accessible digital platform available for filmmakers now as a venue to tell stories to a wider audience. However, it is this same platform where digital theft or piracy occurs at an alarming rate.
At the recently concluded Film Ambassadors’ Night The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) together with Globe, feted films, actors and producers who won various international recognition for the country’s film industry. FDCP Chairperson Liza Diño also shared the challenge of Philippine cinema right now is to develop more quality content which can be made available in various platforms. “Our local audience is getting exposed to newer platforms to consume content and it’s not just happening here but in other countries as well,” she said. The event was also in commemoration of 100 years of Philippine Cinema.
Diño also acknowledged Globe and its long-running anti-piracy advocacy, #PlayItRight. During the Film Ambassadors’ Night, Diño encouraged filmmakers to support the cause by thanking the men and women at the back and in front of the camera whose lives are affected by online piracy through a short video at the end of every movie appealing to moviegoers to respect the hard work of the cast and crew and help them sustain their livelihood. This way, moviegoers are made aware of the reality of how the entertainment industry and its people are affected by illegal content consumption.
#PlayItRight is meant to urge Filipinos to watch or download content only from legitimate sources, which started with a Piracy vs. Piracy initiative during the 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival. #PlayItRight took the battle against piracy in the pirates’ own grounds, plus its other efforts to educate the public on the havoc that malwares and other viruses can create on their devices.
In the campaign, Globe uploaded supposed copies of the festival film entries in streaming sites but once the links were clicked, viewers got the surprise after the opening credits, what followed was a heart-felt appeal of the film crew themselves, where they stated how much hard work and time they spend on a film, and how piracy has affected their livelihood.
The latest in Alexa data analysis shows that streaming piracy is significantly up with a 75% increase in pageviews of an average user of streaming piracy websites between 2016 and 2017. In terms of downloads, there is still a total of 502 million movie and TV BitTorrent downloads in 2017. The Philippines alone has 22 million visits to infringing websites.
The new threat of digital content piracy now involves the use of illicit streaming devices (ISDs) and apps. Accessing content through these illegal means exposes viewers to various threats such as viruses and malwares that can steal private information. Left unregulated, this puts consumers, especially children at risk.
These pressing issues remain the major concern of the Coalition Against Piracy (CAP), an initiative of the Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA), a collective of Asian and international entertainment companies and distribution platforms. CAP recognizes the #PlayItRight campaign as an effective move to combat digital content piracy which has an estimated US$50-billion impact to the media industry annually.
At the recent Digital Anti-Piracy Summit in Kuala Lumpur, one of the key learnings as reported by Hong Leong Investment Bank Research is that education on the consumer end, such as #PlayItRight, is perhaps the most effective way to combat piracy of content. During the summit, Malaysian Minister of Communications and Multimedia Gobind Singh Deo expressed that, “Piracy has a serious impact on the ability of these practitioners to continue creating content commercially,” referring to job losses in the filming and broadcasting industry.
Globe Chief Sustainability Officer and Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications Yoly Crisanto also shared in-depth, the company’s #PlayItRight initiative at the summit that, “whether you like it or not, piracy is part of the digital lifestyle of our customers nowadays. In the Philippines, 52% of viewers access through unauthorized sources. With #PlayItRight, we saw a 53% decline in illegal content access. If you're paying a very small amount of money to get to legal content, it doesn't really make sense for you to get into illegal sites. And that's what we're trying to communicate.”
Globe is the preferred partner for content distribution by global entertainment brands like Disney, Netflix, HOOQ, Turner, Astro, Sports Illustrated, and Musical.ly. Other than content distribution, Globe also now produces its own original content through Globe Studios.
Among the projects under Globe Studios was the film “Birdshot,” starring Mary Joy Apostol, John Arcilla and Ku Aquino. It won Best Picture in the Asian Future category at the 2016 Tokyo International Film Festival and director Mikhail Red won Best Director. Apostol also won Best Actress at the First ASEAN Film Awards in Vietnam. “Birdshot” is the first Philippine-produced content released on Netflix worldwide.
For more about Globe and its anti-piracy efforts, visit www1.globe.com.ph/play-it-right.
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