Senate acts to combat Internet piracy

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Senate is poised to amend the Intellectual Property Code (IPC) to combat growing Internet piracy in the country.

The committee on science and technology said over the weekend that amendments to the IPC contained in Senate Bill No. 880 would align the country’s laws with international treaties on property rights and information management.

Sen. Edgardo Angara, committee chair, said in a statement the code must be armed with more comprehensive and efficient strategies to respond to the upsurge in Internet piracy.

He noted that Internet hackers had victimized even government websites and contents.

Canadian researchers found that the computer network of the Department of Foreign Affairs was among those infiltrated by hackers allegedly based in China.

The National Computer Center (NCC) had also announced that other government websites in the Philippines were vulnerable to computer attacks because of the absence of a nationwide cybersecurity program.

“The overriding goal of this proposal is to provide an Internet environment where it is safe to distribute and license protected material. Because in an increasingly global arena, nothing less than a global effort will ensure the effective protection and development of intellectual property,” Angara said.

The bill seeks to strengthen the country’s capacity to deal with infringements of intellectual property rights on the Internet.

The country’s IPC has not kept pace with the advances, as well as threats to e-commerce, Angara said.

With the Philippines’ ratification of the Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty, and other related international agreements, there is a need for amendments to the IPC to contain the additional obligations imposed by these treaties, he said.

(The code) must also give recognition to the rights of performers, phonogram producers and broadcasters as accorded authors of artistic and literally works, by acknowledging their right to control or be compensated for the various ways by which their works are used or enjoyed by others,” he said.


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