Law to avert piracy losses

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    Barba (Photo from IPOPHIL FB)

    An amendment to an existing law granting the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) site-blocking powers could save creators from incurring billions of pesos in losses to piracy every year.

    IPOPHL said the working draft amendments on the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines to be submitted to Congress gives the agency the authority to issue provisional and final takedown orders or cease-and-desist orders to internet service providers (ISPs), domain name registries and registrars, website owners, online intermediaries, online platforms, social media platforms, or any similar medium, for the removal of IP rights infringing content and compliance with the IP Law.

    The provision would institutionalize IPOPHL’s site-blocking orders to cover even ISPs – website infrastructure providers which have ultimate, direct control in shutting sites.

    The blocking would be undertaken by the National Telecommunications Commission upon IPOPHL’s orders, eliminating the review process which takedown requests must go through as with current laws.

    “This site-blocking will enable IPOPHL to craft its own guidelines on takedowns, such as having ISPs comply within hours instead of several days as the current process would take,” said IPOPHL director-general Rowel Barba.

    Barba proposed a “rolling site blocking” mechanism where the government can block subsequent sites put up by an infringer which will simply migrate its illegal activity to a new site.