Content producers ask PH gov’t to block illegal streaming websites

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A regional group of content producers have urged the Philippine government to block illegal streaming websites “to stop the damaging effects to legitimate local content producers and cybersecurity risks in downloading pirated videos”.

In a virtual town hall discussion organized by Stratbase ADR Institute (ADRi) on “Digital Risks in the New Normal”, Asian Video Industry Association (AVIA) general manager Neil Gane called for the blocking of websites that give access to pirated content. He cited how Indonesia has curbed online piracy by 69% and increasing legal platforms by 30%.

“We have to see site blocking as a critical tool in fighting piracy. It will have an immediate and substantial impact on piracy,” Gane said.

“We all know that piracy impacts whether it’s the cable and satellite industry in the Philippines, certainly impacts those in front of the camera, behind the camera, those who are making television content and movie content in local platforms and the theaters as well as international platforms,” Gane added.

AVIA, along with the Coalition Against Piracy, is lobbying for the passage for the passage of Senate Bill 497 or the Philippine Online Infringement Act authored by Senate President Vicente Sotto III.

Teodoro Pascua, deputy director-general of Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHIL), said piracy has a significant impact to the economy.

“ICT (information and communications technology) is running so fast, faster than rules and regulations. This is why we are creating more flexible laws and regulations,” Pascua said.

Pascua added that IPOPHIL is working closely with e-commerce platforms to implement ICT policies which will heighten IP rights and consumer protection.

“IPOPHIL will be at the forefront with the Department of Information and Communications Technology and the National Telecommunications Commission to take down sites which violate content rights,” Pascua said.

The IPOPHIL reported that piracy activities accounted for most intellectual property rights violation. 42% of the total reports over the period March to June 2020 were piracy activities, including illegal streaming and illegal reproduction of copyrighted content.

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