Piracy tops intellectual property violations during lockdown

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Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) director Rowel Barba said piracy activities accounted for most intellectual property rights violation reports from March to June.

In a speech delivered during a webinar organized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry this week, Barba said the Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Office (IEO) of IPOPHL recorded 67 reports and complaints on intellectual property rights violations from March to June — the first few months of the community quarantine period in the country.

He said 42 percent or 28 of the total reports over the period were piracy activities, including illegal streaming and illegal reproduction of copyrighted content. “For piracy, initially, only movies were being pirated but eventually, piracy of TV shows, specifically anime series, were being reported as well,” Barba said.

He added that the IEO also has seen an increase in intellectual property violation for e-books such as educational textbooks with the rise of distance learning. “There was the threat of more piracy of movies, shows, and literature as people try to find more sources of entertainment, as though the state of piracy pre-Covid was already not worrisome,” Barba said.

Reports on counterfeit goods and other trademark infringement acts accounted for 36 percent or 24 of the total reports and complaints from March to June. Goods that were reported fake include bags, shoes, watches, cigarettes, beauty products, bleach products, and masks.

As of July 7, the IEO recorded five new reports and complaints, including three piracy acts involving e-books and two trademark complaints. “So from January to July 7, we have a total of 87, close to doubling full-year 2019 reports and complaints, with bulk on piracy cases and most having occurred online,” Barba said. — Kris Crismundo (PNA)

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