IPOPHL gains access to international piracy site list to strengthen site-blocking review

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has partnered with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for IPOPHL to gain access to WIPO’s Alert Data Sharing Platform, which offers a list of internationally known pirated websites and could enhance IPOPHL’s site-blocking process.

The partnership was enabled through a Letter of Understanding (LOU) recently signed by IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba and WIPO Director General Daren Tang.

With the Philippines onboard the platform, IPOPHL gains intelligence on all the websites which other WIPO member states reasonably suspect and enlist as intellectual property (IP) infringing.

“Having access to such a vast database, IPOPHL can strengthen its review of web addresses concerned in site-blocking requests. If a website of concern is found on the WIPO Data Sharing Platform list, IPOPHL has more persuasive evidence to request the National Telecommunications Commission to disable access to the site,” Director General Rowel S. Barba said.

IPOPHL can also contribute to the inventory of so-called “sites of concern” by uploading its own “national list.” The Office is tasked to promptly update this list to remove any web address which is not justified to be of concern or has ceased to be so.

For her part, IPOPHL Deputy Director General Ann Claire C. Cabochan welcomed a new area of cooperation with WIPO and hopes to maximize the partnership for the benefit of the creative industry.

“This partnership could help ensure the reliability and integrity of the country’s site-blocking process. This will help our creative industry thrive freely and deal proactively with piracy,” she said.

Signed last September by the Director General, the site-blocking mechanism will take effect on November 21, 2023. The mechanism is seen to address rampant piracy in the Philippines which ranked third in East and Southeast Asia in 2020 in terms of consumers admitting to visiting piracy websites. (Janina C. Lim/IPOPHL)