THE Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) said it launched new rules governing site blocking that will disrupt access to sites offering pirated items.
In a statement, IPOPHL said Memorandum Circular 23-025, or the Rules on Voluntary Administrative Site Blocking, will improve the Philippines’ current ranking as third-worst in East and Southeast Asia in terms of levels of piracy.
Signed on Sept. 20, the rules on site blocking will take effect after two months from publication in a newspaper of general circulation.
“The Philippines now has an essential tool to protect the creativity that drives our economy and defines our cultural landscape,” IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said in a statement.
Mr. Barba said that the rules are aimed to replicate the success of Indonesia, where more than 50% of consumers stopped accessing pirate services as a result of blocking measures launched in 2019.
“We encourage rights holders to optimize this tool and protect the value of your creative assets,” Mr. Barba said.
Under the rules, a rights holder or a duly authorized representative may file a written request with the IP Rights Enforcement Office (IEO) which will then be given 10 working days to submit an evaluation report.
The report will carry a recommendation on the issuance of a site blocking order, to be elevated to the supervising director or deputy director general for approval within five working days.
The due process requirement will be met via the submission of the blocking request to the site administrator, or will be published on the IPOPHL website if no contact details are found.
If no protest is received from the website administrator within seven days from receipt, a site-blocking request to internet service providers (ISPs) will be issued, which in turn must be carried out in 48 hours.
On Wednesday, IPOPHL signed partnership agreements with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and ISPs to effectively implement the new rules.
Under the agreement with the NTC, IPOPHL’s oversight will be expanded to over 300 ISPs which are not part of IPOPHL’s current agreements with ISPs.
“The NTC holds a pivotal role in the regulation and supervision of the telecommunication sector, establishing it as an indispensable ally in this initiative” IEO Supervising Director and Bureau of Legal Affairs Assistant Director Christine V. Pangilinan-Canlapan said.
NTC Commissioner Ella Blanca Lopez said that the partnership will enhance cooperation within the interagency National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights.
“This cooperation ensures a synchronized and streamlined approach in enforcing IP rights in the country. It is imperative that we work hand in hand to protect our creative economy,” Ms. Lopez said. — Justine Irish D. Tabile