Globe supports the creation and activation of tougher legislation that will address online content piracy, which strips billions off legitimate content providers. As an internet service provider (ISP) and content creator itself, Globe believes that a law that ensures a cohesive and solid stand against the problem needs to be enacted.
Piracy is a serious problem in the Philippines. One of its recent victims was the Metro Manila Film Festival, which was held on a virtual platform last year. As soon as the films became available online, pirated copies were sold for P10 each versus the ticket price of P250. This left the 2020 MMFF with only P19 million in revenue as compared to the P995 million earned in 2019.
Speaking at the “Philippines in View” webinar conducted by the Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA), Globe Chief Sustainability Officer and SVP for Corporate Communications Yoly Crisanto said: “The impact of piracy, not just to the economy but also to the lives and jobs of the people in this industry, is really huge. We see younger customers being more conscientious in avoiding illegal content but that’s not going to end it. We still need an enabling law.”
In the absence of such a law, Globe and other ISPs decided to work with government agencies, particularly the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in crafting an appropriate site-blocking mechanism that will put more teeth in the fight against cyber pirates.
“We are hoping that within this year, we’re going to have a draft set (of the Memorandum of Understanding) for approval before the NTC and the different stakeholders,” Atty. Ann Edilon, Head of the IPOPHL Enforcement Office confirmed in the panel.
Crisanto further explained the psychology behind widespread piracy in the Philippines. “Consumers pirate because they feel that when they’re on the internet since they paid for the data anyway, what’s on the internet is already free,” she said. However, pirated materials may be free but consumers may still have to pay a price in the form of malware.
As a response, Globe introduced the #PlayItRight campaign in 2017 to motivate customers to exercise personal responsibility in their digital content consumption. It also encourages everyone to firmly stand behind filmmakers and entertainment content creators, to respect their hard work, and help sustain their jobs.
Pascal Metral, Vice President for Legal Services of NAGRA, a high-end Swiss Audio Technology provider, on the other hand, explained the importance of site-blocking.
“When fighting piracy, you must consider addressing the source of supply, and also the demand for piracy. Site blocking is really in between these two aspects of piracy. Although you will not actually kill or deactivate those websites, you will at least put in place blocking measures, and prevent or impede users of given territories access to these sites,” he said.
Sharing the results of a recent survey, Metral revealed that half of the consumers in the Philippines are accessing content through illegal streaming websites. The most preferred pirated content types fall under the categories of live content, sports, linear activities, series, and movies.
Despite a potentially long wait, there is no stopping Globe from pursuing what it has started as a crusade against piracy, given what’s at stake in the end.
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