ALBAY 2nd District Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda has stressed that the passage of a bill seeking to amend the intellectual property code would be an effective move against online piracy as it would block sites respecting due process.
“Online piracy will kill digital creatives. And that’s an existential threat to the entire creatives sector. If we don’t find a way to respond to this threat, we can say goodbye to the future of streaming and digital content creation in the country,” Salceda said.
The chair of the House Ways and Means Committee bared that House Bill No. 7600, if passed, will serve as a strong ally of the booming Philippine streaming industry as it seeks to institutionalize measures blocking sites of pirates hiding under the protection of ‘due process’.
“With the help of content owners, the Philippines should invest in a system of rapidly identifying and responding to online piracy incidents, with the help of content owners,” the Albay solon said.
However, Salceda said such efforts could face a major snag due to the absence of a law setting aside the issue of due process and allowing the blocking of sites deemed detrimental to legitimate ones.
“That’s why we need to clarify in the intellectual property code how to do this. How to complain. How to hear the complaint. How to appeal. How to execute judgment. It’s time to pass an online site blocking law that respects due process,” added Salceda.
The Albay solon cited that the passage of the HB 7600 is very timely amid the potential of the creative industry as a source of “resilient and sustainable growth in employment and economic activity.”
“Without a law amending the intellectual protesty law, the digital creatives sector could stagnate or shrink unless efforts are taken to fight online piracy, ” Salced added.
“The future of Philippine creatives, and Philippine entertainment in particular, is streaming. That kept K-pop alive when we couldn’t do concerts during COVID-19. It has become the dominant sector in entertainment in the West. That’s what we should look to. That’s what we should protect,” Salceda said.
“As incomes grow, so too will demand for this form of entertainment. People are obviously willing to pay, as seen in the growth of subscriptions to companies like Netflix. And as soon as we produce quality content, we will see demand for Philippine streaming.”
“But if we cannot protect programs for streaming in the infancy of Filipino streaming – we will see this industry die before it gets its chance to flourish.”
Citing official estimates from the Philippine Statistics Authority, which indicate that the digital creatives sector recorded the slowest employment growth among creatives subsectors at 4.5% (with total sector growth to have been at 10.5%) from 2021 to 2022, Salceda sounded the alarm that “online creatives could continue growing the slowest or even shrink if we cannot protect it.”
“We have that in the bill (HB 7600). And I am almost certain the House will pass the measure. I’m hoping our counterparts in the Senate see the wisdom and the urgency in the proposal. The streaming sector is in its infancy. Online site blocking is child immunization,” he stressed.
Image credits: House of Representatives/Facebook