IPOPHL, AVIA join forces to curb piracy, help creative economy’s recovery
The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA) to collaborate on various aspects to eliminate piracy in the country and help the creative sector recover and realize its full potential as an economic driver.
The MoU aims to promote cooperation on:
- the development of mechanisms and channels for the sharing of relevant information that can help prevent and suppress piracy in the Philippines in a timely manner;
- the development of piracy monitoring and rolling site blocking processes and strategies for their effective implementation; and
- building the expertise and technical knowledge of local authorities pertinent to the fight against piracy.
“This MOU elevates IPOPHL’s holistic approach in fostering a society that respects IP rights,” IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said at the virtual ceremonial signing held on April 8, 2021.
“I eagerly look forward to the work with AVIA in the months ahead. Together, may IPOPHL and AVIA successfully stamp out the infringers and enable Filipino film and video producers, artists and contributors to wholly enjoy the rewards they deserve and to continue creating fresh original works for the benefit of society, culture and economy,” he added, noting that the creative economy was among the hardest hit sectors during last year’s COVID-19 quarantine.
AVIA CEO Louis Boswell said piracy is growing stronger amid the increase of consuming public online. He added that given that hosts of pirated content or websites are based outside of the country, site blocking emerges as an effective solution.
“Site blocking is a responsible means of not allowing access to pirated sites… We have experience now in multiple markets all around the region that site blocking, where it is done properly, can be incredibly effective at reducing the levels of piracy in a market,” Boswell said.
“And we’re very keen to see this happen in the Philippines,” he added
AVIA is an industry association that aims to enable television and video companies in Asia-Pacific to innovate and grow by creating a sustainable business environment in the region. It serves to provide a platform for dialogue between governments and its partners across Asia, as well as intelligence on trends and developments in the video industry.
Under the MoU, AVIA will extend assistance by providing useful information on piracy; organize and conduct training or seminars, at least annually, on piracy matters; and provide recommendations on IPOPHL’s development of mechanisms on online piracy monitoring and rolling site blocking, as well as assist to ensure their successful implementation.
For its part, IPOPHL is tasked to work closely with AVIA with the aim of reviewing and assessing situations, trends and issues on piracy in the local landscape. IPOPHL also commits to take action to a report, relevant tip-off, information, and/or lead on piracy provided by AVIA.
The partnership, according to Barba, is part of IPOPHL’s intensified crackdown against online piracy following a surge of cases.
In 2020, IPOPHL’s IP Rights Enforcement Office or IEO said piracy complaints by right holders and reports by netizens totaled 54, exceeding the 51 reports and complaints reported for all IP violations elevated at the IEO in the prior year. Of the 2020 piracy complaints and reports, 94% took place online.