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House bill gives IPOPHL power to shut online violators of copyright

By Newsbytes Philippines — 2.01.2019

The Intellectual Property Office (IPOPHL) should have the power to disable access to websites that are being used to infringe on copyrights or facilitate copyright infringement, according to Kabayan party-list representative Ron P. Salo, who is pushing for the passage of House Bill 8001.

“HB 8001 lays down the necessary legal framework, which will facilitate the proper coordination and support between the IPOPHL and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), in restricting access to websites that are being used to facilitate copyright violations,” Salo said.

There are common sites used for illegal distribution of copyrighted materials which operate outside the Philippines, oftentimes in Eastern Europe. Since those rogues operate outside of Philippine jurisdiction, the proper course of action would be to prevent our access to those sites, the lawmaker said.

The Joint Committee, co-presided by Tarlac rep. Victor Yap, chair of the Committee on Information and Communications Technology, and Camiguin rep. Xavier Jesus Romualdo, vice chair of the Committee on Trade and Industry, agreed to create a technical working group (TWG) to fine-tune the bill. The TWG will be chaired by Salo.

Salo said that for “meritorious cases” the IPOPHL would have the authority to recommend to the NTC, the cancellation of licenses of internet service providers involved in copyright infringement.”

“With the advent of cyberspace, copyright infringement has taken a new form which is beyond the reach of the country’s administrative and regulatory agencies such as the NTC and IPO,” the party-list congressman said.

“Copyright infringement is no longer confined to the conventional or traditional ways of intellectual property rights violations. Cyberspace has been used to evade liability and regulation,” Salo also said.

“Once this bill becomes a law, our local creative wizards – musicians, filmmakers, content providers, and the entire Filipino entertainment industry — will be protected from unauthorized use of their works, saving them losses amounting to billions of pesos,” he added.

This article was first published here.