A friend of mine who’s into the net cafe business has told me that the Optical Media Board is also confiscating DVD Writers and other media recorders from shops.
The OMB Raiding Group has really created a strong impression of the agency since the installation of Edu Manzano, its erstwhile head.
In 2006 alone, they’ve done close to 1,000 inspections, over 1.5 Million pirated optical disks with an estimated worth of Php202,569,400. They’ve also confiscated over 258 Million worth of pirated CDs in the first 4 months of 2007. Vigilance of regular citizens reporting stalls and shops peddling pirated CDs also helped the agency do their job more effectively.
With such accomplishments comes criticisms. The unfair confiscations of DVD or CD Writers in Internet Cafe shops is one of them. The reason behind it is that the presence of these recording devices in the shops potentially opens it to illegal copying of copyrighted materials.
According to my friend “a Level Up delivery guy (of game posters) told him to hide DVD Writers and other recording devices”. This tip came from one of the managers from Netopia. Although, there have been no incident that directly verifies this, my friend and all other net cafe owners in his area are now careful than ever.