TAO Presses Swift Passage of Anti-Piracy Bill
Opposition Senator Tessie Aquino Oreta said Thursday the Congress is expected to approve soon the Optical Media Bill, a measure criminalizing digital piracy to help save the local entertainment industry and business software sector from collapse and secure the future of over one million workers and their families dependent on these industries.
Oreta also said provisions protecting the welfare of consumers have been incorporated in the final version of the bill.
A single version of the bill was passed by the bicameral conference committee last Tuesday and will soon be calendared for ratification in both houses of the Congress, Oreta said.
According to Oreta, who had sponsored the anti-piracy bill as chairperson of the Senate committee on public information and mass media, speeding up the approval of the measure spelled out under Senate Bill No. 2586 would also help hasten the removal of the Philippines from the United States watch list of intellectual property rights (IPR) violators.
Beside enacting this measure, Oreta, who has authored or co-sponsored 230 education-friendly laws, also cited the importance of education as an effective tool in boosting the governments IPR campaign, pointing out that a well-educated citizenry becomes more aware of their rights as individuals as well as the need to respect and protect the intellectual property and creative work of others.
This proposed optical media law is designed not only to rescue the movie, music and business software industries from the ill effects of unbridled digital piracy but also to safeguard the rights of consumers and the interests of over a million workers and their families who are in danger of losing their main source of incomes because of this scourge, Oreta said.
According to reports, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) said the optical media bill needs to be enacted to pave the way for the countrys removal from the US priority watchlist of IPR violators by April.
Last September, President Arroyo asked both houses of the Congress to ensure the swift passage of SB 2586, which, according to her, should be immediately enacted to address the public emergency consisting of the urgent need to strengthen enforcement mechanism in intellectual rights protection in optical media, (to) thus promote legitimate electronic business and government revenue. …