IPOPHL, FDCP team up to strengthen IP, fight piracy

Louella Desiderio – The Philippine Star

September 30, 2021 | 12:00am


MANILA, Philippines — The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has partnered with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) to step up efforts to protect IP rights in the local film industry.

In a statement, IPOPHL said a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed with FDCP last Sept. 23 to raise awareness and promote enforcement of copyright among members of the film industry and the public.

Under the MOU, IPOPHL and FDCP will work together and implement programs to prevent and curb all forms of piracy of Filipino films both locally and globally.

IPOPHL director general Rowel Barba said the signing of the MOU is a “first-step toward creating a stronger and more resilient Philippine film industry in the future through the protection of IPs.”

He said the local film industry was among those hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

“As the film industry is an integral part of the Philippine creative industries, in turn, a high-value contributor to the economy, it is mission-critical to help local cinema restart and rebuild stronger,” he said.

As piracy has increased during the pandemic, the MOU is seen to help address the problem.

A survey by the regional group Asia Video Industry Association and YouGov released last year showed the Philippines was among those with the highest piracy rates in Southeast Asia, with 49 percent of Filipino respondents admitting they have accessed piracy streaming websites.

Piracy was also blamed for the lower revenues during the virtual 2020 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) which reached only P31 million compared to the P955 million in 2019.

This, as pirates made illegal access to the films for free or at a lower fee of P10 to P20 compared to the MMFF ticket price of P250.

Through the partnership, Barba said “IPOPHL strengthens its commitment to help the industry not only recover from the present pandemic but also prosper in the long term.”

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