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New ways to win the war against piracy



People live in an age when technology plays a huge role in the way society functions.

PARI Chairman Marivic Benedicto (left) with Josephine Santiago, Brian Breuhaus and Sherwin dela Cruz (Photo by Manny Llanes/ Manila Bulletin) /

PARI Chairman Marivic Benedicto (left) with Josephine Santiago, Brian Breuhaus and Sherwin dela Cruz (Photo by Manny Llanes/ Manila Bulletin)

It has effected change even in the music industry. Philippines Association of the Recording Industry (PARI) Chairman Marivic Benedicto admitted new technology has largely limited the roles of record companies.

“It is really a different world now,” she said, citing as example,” A gold record used to be 20,000 units in the late ‘90s but now we are down to 7,500 units. That is a drastic decrease.”

The large cut stems from how today’s consumers acquire their music.

“Most people today go to the internet to download music, kokonti na lang talaga ang nagte-take ng effort to buy CD,” she explained. “But we cannot blame them. The internet has made all our lives easier.”

Benedicto is all for embracing the change.

“It’s the only way to move forward,” she said, noting that iTunes, Spotify and YouTube have become a huge part of people’s lives.

“People know how artists could go on their own now, they can produce music in their bedrooms, publish themselves and have their songs distributed.”

She continued: “We have a few artists na, dahil sa internet na napapakinggan sa Taiwan, they have a following in Malaysia. The music of our country has been discovered in different territories, and I think that really helps in strengthening our music industry.”

How about the return of investments?

Benedicto revealed earnings are “slow and small” as of the moment compared to before.

“But the good thing is, little by little, we are getting the record labels (Star Records, Viva) have more courage to develop and invest in new genres,” she explained. “Kasi if mapapansin nyo, the music we listen to now is geared towards the millennials na, not the usual radio market na puro ballad (songs).”

The industry will benefit a lot in embracing the internet as a way to combat piracy “because if the industry fully cooperates with these changes, kids will probably no longer go to pirate sites to download songs illegally,” she maintained.

“Aside from that, sa YouTube, namo-monetize namin ang views. ‘Pag maraming views that means maraming Pilipino pa rin ang tumatangkilik ng sariling musika natin.”

No to piracy

Speaking of piracy, the Intellectual Property Office Philippines (IPOPhil), Motion Picture Association, United States Embassy, PARI as well as Solar Entertainment, have joined forces in new efforts to prevent piracy, illegal camcording and other violations of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

To raise awareness on the importance of IPR and the impact of IPR crimes, President Rodrigo Duterte recently signed Proclamation 190 declaring April of every year as National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Month. Throughout April, various programs and activities will be carried out by the IPO and other industry players to educate various sectors of the public.

“IPR education and awareness are vital in ensuring that Filipinos are conscious of the importance of IPR and the various measures and laws in place to protect the system,” Director General Josephine R. Santiago of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines said.

In an effort to put an end to illegal websites on a global scale, marketing and advertising professionals around the world are collaborating on the Infringing Website List (IWL) initiative.

Meanwhile, Solar Entertainment CEO and anti-piracy advocate Wilson Tieng said in a statement during the World Intellectual Property Day press briefing that technology is a “double-edged sword.”

“While the internet has provided the entertainment industry with unparalleled access to customers – allowing filmmakers with the opportunity to market, offer and distribute their content easily, quickly and effectively – it also threatens the very existence of these filmmakers.

“Undeniably, it, in view of the technological advancement, now becomes harder and more complicated to protect filmmakers’ intellectual creations. As the distribution of media content over the internet continues to grow at a rapid pace, so does online piracy or copyright infringement – that is, the unauthorized and illegal use, reproduction, distribution or exploitation of copyrighted content, whether it be films, videos, music or other creative works. At present, infringement takes the form of, among others, media streaming, downloading files via pirate websites, blogs or use of bit torrents, deep-linking and peer-to-peer network file sharing,” he said.

According to Tieng, the industry needs a specific and more comprehensive law “to handle and tackle serious and organized intellectual property property crime with a particular focus on acts using an online or digital platform.”

He also wants “various players in multiple industries – including the film and music distributors, the internet service providers, the mobile telecommunications providers, and advertisers – to come together and support any and all actions against online piracy.”

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