Press Release
June 6, 2009

Seeks to amend RP's Internet policy framework

Sen. Edgardo J. Angara today said that the Intellectual Property Code must be armed with comprehensive and efficient strategies in order to respond to the upsurge of internet piracy, this is amid internet hackers victimizing even government websites and contents.

"While our Intellectual Property Code was shaped with a consummate vision at the time of its enactment, its provisions have not kept pace with the advances made in the area of intellectual property rights infringement in E-Commerce. With the Philippines' ratification of the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT), there is a need for amendments to the IPC to contain the additional obligations imposed by the provisions in said treaties," said Angara who chairs the Committee on Science and Technology.

He said that IPC amendments must address two new issues: 1) the technological measures provisions (Article 11 of the WCT and Article 18 of the WPPT); and 2) the rights management information provisions (Article 12 of the WCT and WPPT) of the Internet Treaties.

He added, "IPC must be armed with comprehensive and efficient strategies in order to respond to the upsurge of internet piracy. It 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 in which their works are used or enjoyed by others. Also we seek to recognize rights to distribution and rental, and rights to receive payments for certain forms of broadcasting or communication to the public."

Angara shared that since 1980, the Philippines has been a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) which seeks "to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world through cooperation among States."

Likewise, the Philippines is a signatory to other international treaties and conventions on intellectual property rights, among these are:

  • Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization;

  • Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property;

  • Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for Purposes of Patent Procedure;

  • Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic;

  • International Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonographs and Broadcasting Organizations and

  • Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights

Also in 1998, in adherence to these international treaties for a universal or global protection of intellectual property and in keeping with the Constitutional mandate enshrined in Article XN, Section 13, which enjoins the State to "protect and secure the exclusive rights of scientists, inventors, artists, and other gifted citizens to their intellectual property and creation," Congress passed Republic Act 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code (IPC) of the Philippines.

Four years after, or on 4 October 2002, the Philippines ratified two (2) additional treaties, the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT). These treaties, commonly referred to as the "Internet Treaties," were intended to modernize and supplement the existing international treaties (Berne Convention and the Rome Convention) on copyright. The treaties respond to critical issues formed by the introduction of digital technologies, especially in the area of dissemination of protected material over the internet.

Angara said that through these amendments the Philippines is doing its share in providing safeguards to insure that rights-holders can effectively use technology to protect their own rights and to license their own works online.

He added that through SB 880 more stringent penalties are likewise recommended for rights-violators, while immediate judicial relief and alternative options are proposed to be accorded actual and potential victims of infringement who would sustain incalculable losses for every minute that their works are used or exploited in the internet by infringers.

"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," added Angara.

Reports have recently confirmed that government websites are vulnerable and at risk of being hacked.

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