Before You Bring Your Pirated VCDs to the US...

If you're planning to bring some gifts or pasalubongs to your relatives in the States, please take note of this warning concerning intellectual property rights and pirated disks.

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Just a friendly reminder: if you have plans of going to the U.S., please take precautionary measures on all "padalas" especially those containing fake/pirated compact discs/DVDs. US Embassy employees have been given an advisory that "as US Gov't employees, we should abide by the U.S. laws, including Intellectual Property Rights (anti-piracy) laws. As an additional incentive, the Consular Section recently received a report that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) searched the bag of a Filipino entering the U.S. on NW 72 in Detroit. During the search, 70-80 compact discs,30-40 empty DVD jackets and 10-20 DVDs were found. Since the travelers were not American Citizens, their visas were canceled and they returned to the Philippines. If they had been Americans, they could have been subjected to arrest and criminal prosecution in addition to civil fines and penalties."

Please remember even ONE pirated item can jeopardize your trip. Also, the fingerprinting system has successfully been instituted in all port of entries. I suggest you bring extra identification cards in addition to your passport to facilitate your entry in the US Immigration.

However, not only pirated VCD/DVD are on the hot list. Please be informed that the American Association of Publishers (AAP) has also alerted the American customs officers to check out for pirated books. This information was given to me by Paricia Judd of the AAP. Please warn all nursing graduates who plan to take the NCLEX and CGF exams in the states not to bring in these pirated books because there will be a penalty of automatic deportation as violation of intellectual property rights.

I hope this is helpful to you. Thanks and regards.

Thess Q. Sula
U.S. Commercial Service
American Embassy Manila

Take care of your U.S. Visa. Don't say you weren't warned....
[ First posted on 07/07/2004 by Manuel Viloria ]

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