Man convicted of illegal recording of ‘Harry Potter’ film

A man from Caloocan City has been convicted of illegally recording a film, five years after he was caught.

Despite the length of time it took for his conviction, the local cinema industry lauded the sentencing of Wendell Tagalogon, to one year in prison and a fine of P50,000 for violating the Anti-Camcording Law.

In November 2010, Tagalogon was arrested by two anti-piracy agents, Edgar Tanquion and Nora Gallardo. and Christian Jerome Casidsid security guard after he was caught illegally recording the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 1 with a counterfeit MP5 device, just one minute into the film.

The National Cinema Association of the Philippines and the Motion Picture Anti-Film Piracy Council, composed of film producers, distributors, and exhibitors, praised the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) for the efforts to effectively implementing the Anti-Camcording Law and bringing those caught to justice.

“We are sending a message loud and clear that theater operators across the country will not tolerate this crime in our facilities. This conviction is proof that the strict measures we have employed to prevent camcording of films both local and international are being implemented and taken seriously,” the groups said in a statement.

Republic Act 10088 or the Anti-Camcording Law of 2010 penalizes the use of a recording device to transmit or make copies of films shown in cinemas, usually in order to make pirated copies of such movies.

Any person caught is fined P50,000 to P750,000 with prison terms of up to six years and one day.

For its part, the PNP reiterates its commitment to curb  such illegal activities.

“This conviction is a welcome development, as it shows that enforcement and judicial branches are working together to protect the film industry and that the Anti-Camcording Law is an effective deterrent against the crime of movie theft,” said PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Chief General Benjamin Magalong.

He adds that the PNP shall continue working together with the DOJ and the movie industry to stop such crimes.