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Pirates of Metrowalk

PHILIPPINES

The Philippines will remain on the Watch List in 2008. The United States is concerned about U.S. industry reports of an apparent increase in piracy in the Philippines, particularly in the areas of book piracy, illegal downloads using mobile devices, piracy on the Internet, and the illegal camcording of films in theaters. The United States urges the Philippines to take steps to reverse these trends and strengthen its enforcement regime against piracy and counterfeiting.
Specifically, the Philippines should pursue final determinations in outstanding IPR cases, including those related to cable piracy, with imposition and implementation of deterrent-level penalties. The Philippines also should strengthen the Optical Media Board and provide it with adequate resources to expand and improve the effectiveness of its activities; strengthen the Customs IP unit; ensure that its patent regime complies with the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights; enforce copyright protection of printed material; and seek to obtain amendments to the Copyright Act to implement the WIPO Internet treaties. The United States will continue to work with the Philippine Government under the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement to strengthen the Philippines IPR regime.

This made me laugh. “The Philippines should strengthen the Optical Media Board”? LOL!

Ever wonder why it’s so hard to find local movies and porn in Metrowalk? I did. I was out looking for a DVD of Sarah Geronimo’s latest movie – after having read the jester’s blog post about it … no, really! LOL. – and the lady at this legit video store told me they didn’t have it and that I should go to Metrowalk. So, off I went, and within minutes, it was obvious that nobody carried tagalog movies.

I asked one of the stall minders and she helpfully told me that they didn’t stock tagalog movies or porn. I was like, whut?! As it turns out, this decision is not because of the market – God knows even the rich and perfumed trip on gang-bang videos and Sarah Geronimo; it’s because they’ve has entered into a gentleman’s agreement with some guy: they don’t sell porn or tagalog movies, he doesn’t bust their asses.

Now, I can’t vouch for what the stall minder told me, but there it is. You decide. Mesself, I’ve stopped wondering why Metrowalk actually got a special mention in the 2008 Report of the US Trade Representative:

Neighborhood of Quiapo (Manila, Philippines). Street stalls in this neighborhood are notorious for selling counterfeit and pirated merchandise. Other notorious markets in Manila include Binondo, Greenhills, Makati Cinema Square, and Metrowalk.

Isn’t it funny, though, that out of five ‘notorious’ markets for pirated stuff, three are arguably high-brow? Does that make the argument that the best customers of these pirates are the more well-off members of society? If so, what does that make ay about us? I’d say that paints a picture of Manila’s well-heeled as a bunch of posing bastards, strutting about town with designer stuff that are actually fakes. LOL! Apparently, Brian was right and the Gucci Gang has more members than even they know.

And if it is true that there is this cozy deal with the pirates of Metrowalk, who knows what other deals he might have with them. The stall minder who told me about ther deal also told me that they were obliged to cluster three operations per stall instead of the usual one operator-one stall set-up. This made it easier to bust them, and it turned them into spies against each other. Kinda like a pirates’ Nash equilibrium.

In fact, if this deal exists with the pirates of Metrowalk, what’s to prevent there being similar  deals with other pirate havens?

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Filed under: international, society, vacuity, , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Responses

  1. I was out looking for a DVD of Sarah Geronimo’s latest movie – after having read the jester’s blog post about it … no, really! LOL.

    i doan lurve you nomo. 😦 heh heh

  2. Jen says:

    buking ka jester LOL 😛

  3. rom says:

    omFg! I just outed the jester! 😀

  4. glenville says:

    my sister and i actually witnessed an anti-piracy “raid” in metrowalk. we were browsing around in one of the clothing stalls when we heard shouts and people running, so we started running as well. when the commotion died, we found out that it was an anti-piracy raid. maybe that’s the reason why metrowalk vendors don’t sell porn or tagalog movies anymore?

  5. rom says:

    glenville: that could be an explanation, except that if it was an honest-to-betsy raid, shouldn’t they have netted even the foreign movies?

  6. niki says:

    But that Sarah Geronimo movie was kinda cute ^__^

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