If a tree falls in a forest and nobody’s there to hear it, does it make a sound? So goes a popular saying.
Tweak it a little to suit cyberspace, and you’ll have: If you stream and download pirated content and nobody’s there to witness what you did, are you considered a criminal?
Globe’s initiative to fill in the long-drawn blanks is manifested through its #PlayItRight campaign.
In collaboration with the Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA)’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP), and the Optical Media Board (OMB), this campaign bolsters the fight against piracy.
This year, the #PlayItRight anti-piracy campaign is aligned to aid the ongoing efforts of obliterating the usage of illicit streaming devices (ISDs) in the Philippine setting. These devices which come in the shape of TV boxes are likely pre-loaded with illegal applications allowing 'plug-and-play' access to pirated content.
With its cheapness and convenience, the popularity of ISDs comes as no surprise. And why wouldn't it pique the public's interest? Other than its obvious appeal, there's no concrete law that tracks and penalizes each and everyone who's in possession of such devices.
Piracy streamers will remain impervious to threats, as long as they are not directly impacted by it. But by the time it does hit them, it will be too late.
This is why vigilance is needed in digital engagement. And you don't have to worry about appearing paranoid in front of your friends or family. Remember that you can be apprehensive to a fault, but it is hardly possible to ever be faulted for being cautious.
As advocated by the #PlayItRight campaign, security comes first. So always pay extra attention when buying something. "If it’s too good to be true, then it must not be true," the saying goes.
Consciousness is contagious—practice it. You will find that people around you will soon embody the same awareness, and raise it unto their own respective circles.
If you put the #PlayItRight campaign to heart—those ISDs, no matter the charm they possess—will amount to nothing, simply because you, along with everyone else, know better.
It’s also about being responsible. This means carefully overseeing your private information, your digital possessions, and your life in general.
The #PlayItRight campaign proves its commitment to web security by blocking your exposure to harmful sites that can corrupt your personal data when you least expect it. Seriously ask yourself this: What good does it bring you to be delighted by movies or series at the cost of your classified information getting tampered and manipulated?
More than anything, it’s about having integrity. Stealing pirated content, whether detected or not, is no less than any other form of theft. When you look deeper into it, such content are intellectual properties, and distributing them without the consent of the owner is on the same scale as selling physical properties that aren’t yours.
"We need to continue educating the public that online piracy through ISDs is unsafe that can put data privacy and devices at risk. ISDs as an access point to pirated content affects the livelihood of people working in the local creative and film industries. We encourage everyone to watch content using legitimate sources only," said Jill Go, Globe VP for Content Portfolio Development and Partner Management.
In the words of AVIA’s CAP General Manager Neil Gane, "The illicit streaming device (ISD) ecosystem is impacting all businesses involved in the production and distribution of legitimate content."
Currently, a bill entitled 'Online Infringement Act' is proposed before the Philippine Senate that would empower ISPs to execute a site-blocking mechanism which would disable access to sites reported of copyright infringement.
As an internet service provider (ISP), Globe can opt to neglect this unlawful activity because any manner of data consumption means more money. But that in itself defeats Globe’s principle of prioritizing its consumers' welfare. It is then in Globe's best interest, along with AVIA-CAP, OMB, and content providers, to let consumers enjoy quality content without the dangers of cyberattacks.
Therefore, the campaign exists to encourage consumers to make the upright choice to save their digital space by streaming and downloading from legitimate sources only, and give credit where it is appropriately due; not because a law says so, but because it pays to be a vigilant, conscious, responsible internet user with integrity.
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