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KROMA Entertainment calls for stronger protection of intellectual property rights, seeks legislated site blocking

The Globe Group’s Kroma Entertainment Inc. (KROMA) has taken a stand against piracy, pushing for passage of a bill that seeks to strengthen intellectual property protection in the country by boosting enforcement through more stringent measures such as site-blocking.

This aligns with Globe’s #PlayItRight anti-piracy campaign, which supports filmmakers and other creatives whose livelihood depends on the industry. Piracy is detrimental to companies such as KROMA, whose “tradigital” business covers the spectrum of content creation, from film, television and podcasts to music and publishing.

The creative industry is a vital contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), accounting for approximately 7.3 percent or P1.6 trillion of the gross value-added in 2022, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority. However, this figure was already lower than the 7.5 percent reported in 2018, primarily due to piracy.

Piracy not only leads to unemployment but also increases the probability of malware infection on personal computers and devices, thereby placing consumers at risk. Pirated content is usually streamed or downloaded from illegal sites, illicit streaming devices (ISDs), and apps such as social media and messaging platforms.

To address this problem, the Globe Group and KROMA are supporting the revision of the country’s 26-year-old Intellectual Property (IP) Code through House Bill No. 7600 authored by Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda. Its proposed amendments seek to address loopholes that have enabled online piracy to persist and empower regulators to take action against offenders.

Globe and KROMA are members of the Video Coalition of the Philippines, formed in September last year along with key industry players in the Philippines and the Asia Video Industry Association’s (AVIA) to push for stronger intellectual property protection in the Philippines.

Currently, the IP code’s definition of pirated goods does not cover electronic or online content. It also lacks a provision that would allow the efficient and effective blocking of pirate sites.

“We are committed to protecting the creative industry and ensuring that the hard work of content creators and filmmakers is duly recognized and rewarded. Our advocacy for site blocking is a crucial step in curbing the negative effects of piracy and promoting a culture of respect for intellectual property rights. We call on all stakeholders to support our efforts in this endeavor,” said KROMA CEO Ian Monsod.

Under the 2022 piracy landscape surveys conducted by the Coalition Against Piracy (CAP), consistent site blocking not only prevents consumers from accessing pirated content but also encourages them to turn to legitimate sources. Additionally, the surveys reveal enormous untapped potential, with over 60% of consumers in the region stating that they would subscribe to legitimate services if pirated content were unavailable.

“The evidence continues to show that site blocking, when implemented in an efficient and effective way, is an incredibly powerful tool to both stop online piracy, and direct consumers towards legitimate content,” said CAP General Manager Matt Cheetham.

KROMA’s stance against piracy and support for site-blocking is also in line with the administration’s eight-point economic agenda, which prioritizes creating high-quality jobs, fostering research and development, encouraging innovation, and promoting the growth of the digital economy.

To learn more about KROMA, visit https://www.kroma.ph/.

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