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Globe Supports Senate Bills vs Online Content Privacy

Globe Supports Senate Bills Strengthening PH Law vs Online Content Piracy

Globe supports Senate bills that will amend the 26-year-old Intellectual Property Code to strengthen enforcement against online content piracy, measures that will protect the Filipino creative industries and customers who face risks online. 

Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. have filed separate bills to strengthen the Intellectual Property Code, a parallel measure to House Bill No. 7600 by Rep. Joey Salceda of Albay's 2nd District in the House of Representatives which passed third reading in May 2023.

These legislative efforts are designed to update Republic Act No. 8293, also known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, which was established in 1997, well before online content piracy became prevalent. 

"The Globe Group recognizes the urgent need to modernize the Intellectual Property Code, especially in the face of growing online threats such as online content piracy. It's crucial to safeguard our creative industries, their workforce, and consumers who might unknowingly access malicious links on pirated websites, jeopardizing their personal data," said Yoly Crisanto, Globe Chief Sustainability and Corporate Communications Officer. 

Amending the Intellectual Property Code to strengthen enforcement against online content piracy will institutionalize a landmark Memorandum of Understanding that the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) recently signed with Globe and other leading Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country to establish a site-blocking mechanism against pirate sites. 

The MOU, the first of its kind in Asia, is a significant step forward against online content piracy as it establishes a voluntary site-blocking practice against the unauthorized distribution and sale of pirated content over the internet. The MOU also outlines the general principles and procedures for site blocking as it underscores collaboration between IPOPHL and ISPs.

Globe has consistently campaigned against online content piracy through the #PlayItRight initiative, promoting the protection of content creators in an era dominated by pirated materials.

As a member of the Video Coalition of the Philippines, established last year alongside major industry players and the Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA), Globe has been at the forefront of advocating for robust intellectual property rights in the Philippines.

The proposed bills by Estrada and Revilla, both actors who are personally familiar with the perils of film piracy, aim to empower the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) to restrict access to copyright-infringing sites and initiate site-blocking measures, supporting the creative sectors against rampant piracy.

Estrada's Senate Bill 2150, submitted on May 9, 2023, suggests blocking access to websites promoting copyright violations and proposes fines of up to ₱1 million. Meanwhile, Revilla's Senate Bill No. 2385, filed on August 1, 2023, focuses on enhancing the IPOPHL's authority and responsibilities.

Estrada highlighted the significant spike in online film piracy during the COVID-19 pandemic, with illegal online links to Filipino films, including those from the 2020 Metro Manila Film Festival, being widely shared on social media.

The IPOPHL reported a noticeable increase in online piracy and counterfeiting activities in 2020, with the number of reports and complaints exceeding the average in the previous five years.

Surveys by YouGov, commissioned by the Coalition Against Piracy (CAP), suggest that enforcing site-blocking could greatly benefit the Philippines' ₱1.6-trillion creative industries, which contributed 7.3% to the country’s economy in 2022.

While 58% of consumers in the country interact with pirated content, many are willing to pay for legitimate content if not available on pirated platforms. The survey showed varied preferences for legal content consumption, with 53% opting for subscription services, 15% for pay-per-view, 28% for cinema, 13% for Blu-Ray or DVD, and 39% for ad-supported media.

Filipino consumers overwhelmingly support government action against online content piracy. The survey revealed that 45% support ISP restrictions on pirate websites, 27% are in favor of banning Android TV Boxes that access pirated content, and 39% back the prohibition of apps offering pirated content access.

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