Philippines: ISPs sign site blocking pact with government IPR office

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Image source: AVIA CAP

The Asia Video Industry Association’s Coalition Against Piracy (AVIA-CAP) has helped shepherd a Memorandum of Understanding to establish an administrative site blocking process against piracy in The Philippines.

The agreement was signed on April 13 between the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the country’s major ISPs.  ISPs signing the MoU included Globe Telecom, Inc., Smart Communications, Inc., PLDT, Inc., Sky Cable Corp., Converge ICT Solutions Inc., and DITO Telecommunity Corp.   This followed an April 8 focus group meeting among 50 participants from these organizations.

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On April 8, IPOPHL and AVIA signed a separate MoU to develop a framework which provides an effective piracy monitoring and rolling site blocking process, and to develop mechanisms and channels aimed at sharing and exchanging relevant information in order to prevent and suppress online piracy in the Philippines.

IPOPHL issued a media statement (click to read) on April 14, summarizing the accomplishment.  In this statement, IPOPHL’s Deputy Director encourages IP rights holders to file (infringement) complaints so they can “test the blocking process as soon as possible.”

According to Philippines-based BusinessWorld, IPOPHL received 54 piracy complaints in 2020, more than the 51 reported for all intellectual property violations a year earlier. Around 94% of piracy complaints last year were based on online violations.

Why it matters

Agreements such as this one underscore the need to take an ecosystem approach toward fighting piracy; and that it takes time and effort for this approach to bear fruit.

It couldn’t come at a better time.  Last year, a study by AVIA, conducted by YouGov, found 49% of Filipino respondents admitting to going to piracy streaming websites or torrent sites.

Similar efforts in which AVIA has acted successfully as a catalyst have been underway in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

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