Are Anti-Piracy Raids Not Enough?

Not so long ago, I blogged about the recommendation by the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) for the Philippines to be downgraded to “Priority Watch List” under the “Special 301″ listing of the US Trade Representative (USTR). We also reading a lot of news about oft-repeated Quiapo anti-piracy raids being conducted by the Optical Media Board (OMB). So, what’s wrong? Are the anti-piracy raids by our authorized government agencies not enough? What should our new government do so that the country will not be downgraded to such heinous watch list?

IIPA said that piracy phenomena abound in the country; namely, the growing peer-to-peer (P2P) Internet-based piracy including mobile means, software end-user piracy in businesses, illegal camcording of movies in theaters, book and journal piracy, retail shop and mall piracy, Pay TV theft, and some remaining pirate optical disc production  and distribution.

Although IIPA cited the efforts of the Philippine Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT) which have raided on establishments selling and using pirated materials such as business software, the report said the authorities have not made significant progress. The group said the law enforcement agencies have not taken steps to significantly reduce Internet-based infringements, or conduct surprise and transparent inspections on all optical disc plants and CD-R burning operations among other things.

The business alliance said the Philippine government needs to make more effective anti-piracy activities and do the following:

1) Prosecute cases involving illegal camcording of movies under the new anti-camcording statute despite requests and interdiction by cinema security staff,

2) Take steps to significantly reduce Internet-based infringements,

3) Execute surprise and transparent inspections on all optical disc plants and CD-R burning operations,

4) Take significant actions against book or photocopy piracy on or off university campuses, and

5) Shutdown some of the estimated eight hundred (800) pirate cable TV systems by revoking their licenses or permits.

The above narration clearly shows that the anti-piracy raids by our authorized government agencies are not enough to protect the intellectual properties of the copyright holders. The new administration has apparently not yet focused its attention to this pestering issue of piracy. Is it not about time that they look on this problem especially the competence of the people tasked to protect the rights of copyright owners?

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