Buhay Party-list Reps. Irwin C. Tieng and Mariano Michael Velarde are looking to curb online piracy here in the Philippines by introducing tough, anti-piracy measures. House Bill 6187, or the “Anti-Online Piracy Act,” addresses that particular issue by imposing stiff penalties for offenders, which include imprisonment of 2 years plus a fine ranging from P50,000 to P150,000 for first time violators. Second time violators will be slapped with a fine of P150,000 to P300,000 and 3 years imprisonment. For the third and subsequent offenses, the bill shall penalize violators with 5 years imprisonment plus a fine ranging from P300,000 to P1,000,000.
“With the tremendous expansion of the Internet, it has regrettably become a cash-cow for the criminals and organized crime cartels that profit from digital piracy,” Tieng said. “Regardless how the infringer sees it, piracy is theft of intellectual property and is no more justifiable than shoplifting. The damage done to the entertainment industry and legitimate end users do not outweigh the few advantages that piracy does have,” Tieng stressed.
Everyone recognizes that online piracy is bad, but the stiff fines and penalties are a bit excessive, if you ask us. There’s also the obvious question of how exactly do they plan to implement this? Will they tell ISPs to snoop around their user’s traffic? If that is so, we’re pretty sure that privacy advocates are not going to be happy. We have yet to see the actual wording of the law, so there’s still a lot of un-answered questions at this point.