The Philippines is SEA’s top in online piracy

Half of the Philippines have admitted to accessing streaming piracy websites or torrent sites. This places the Philippines as the leader in online piracy in Southeast Asia.

According to a YouGov survey, the act is even more prevalent (53 percent) among young Filipinos from 25 to 34 years of age. Access to piracy sites have resulted in 47 percent of consumers cancelling their subscriptions to both local and international content services.

Commissioned by Asia Video Industry Association’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP), the study showed the Philippines ahead of Malaysia and Indonesia which have both seen substantial reductions in online piracy over the last 12 months.

Indonesia and Malaysia block sites

A massive 55 percent of Indonesians and 64 percent of Malaysians have stopped accessing piracy services compared to 2019. The declines could be attributed to both governments’ proactive piracy site blocking initiative.

“We are confident that Indonesia and Malaysia will rise to become market leaders in video IP protection in the region, as a result of their site-blocking strategies. We are also confident that other countries in Asia, such as the Philippines, will take note and follow suit, boosting the growth of legal consumption of Filipino and international content,” said Neil Gane, General Manager of AVIA’s AP.

New bill under consideration

A Bill currently before the Philippine Senate (Bill #497) entitled the Online Infringement Act proposes a regulatory site blocking mechanism which would empower the authorities to ensure that ISPs take “reasonable steps to disable access to sites whenever these sites are reported to be infringing copyright or facilitating copyright infringement.”

When given choices of what they thought were effective measures of reducing piracy behaviour, 53 percent of Filipinos surveyed agree that a “government order or law for ISPs to block piracy websites” would be the most effective.

“The wide variety of legal services in the Philippines which provide premium entertainment content are reliable and importantly are legal. The piracy alternatives fund crime groups, put consumers at risk of malware infection and are unreliable. Piracy only benefits the criminal organisations who are behind these illegal websites,” said Atty Teodoro Pascua, Deputy Director General, Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines.