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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        11  March 2011

Philippines inclusion in piracy list pushed

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A US-based intellectual property alliance is pushing for inclusion of the Philippines in the US Trade Representative's (USTR) priority watch list of piracy dens.

In a submission dated March 9 to the USTR as follow up to a March 2 hearing on the 2011 Special 301 Report on intellectual property rights (IPR), the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) said the Philippines should be among the 13 countries placed in the higher-level Priority Watch List of this year's report.

IIPA said "copyright piracy phenomena abound" in the Philippines, citing "growing P2P [peer-to-peer] and other Internet and mobile piracy, enterprise end-user software piracy, illegal camcording of movies in theaters, book and journal piracy, retail shop and mall piracy, pay TV theft, and pirate optical discs being imported or produced for export."

Despite piracy problems, the group said Philippine authorities have yet to prosecute anyone involved in illegal camcording of movies under the new anti-camcording law; significantly slash Internet-based infringements; inspect optical disc and CD-R burning facilities; significantly act versus book or photocopy piracy in universities; or shut down or revoke licenses and permits of about 800 pirate cable systems.

Besides the Philippines, IIPA wants Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Russia, Spain, Thailand, Ukraine and Vietnam in the Priority Watch List.

IIPA groups the Association of American Publishers, Business Software Alliance, Entertainment Software Association, Independent Film and Television Alliance, Motion Picture Association of America, National Music Publishers' Association, and Recording Industry Association of America. The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) last week announced that the USTR kept the Philippines in the lower-level Watch List of the 2010 Special 301 after last year's out-of-cycle review.

The Philippines has been in the USTR's Special 301 Watch List since 2005.

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