PH among highest in online piracy in Southeast Asia

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The Philippines engages in online piracy more than neighboring countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, according to a new study of the online content viewing behaviour of Filipino consumers.

The survey, commissioned by the Asia Video Industry Association’s (AVIA) Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) and conducted by international data and analytics group YouGov, found that 49% of Filipinos access streaming piracy websites or torrent sites.

The highest level of piracy, meanwhile, was found within the 25 to 34 age demographic, where 53% participated in online piracy.

The survey also found that 47% of Filipinos who accessed piracy sites cancelled their subscriptions to both local and international content services.

The country’s online piracy rate is higher than Malaysia and Indonesia, both of which saw substantial reductions in online piracy over the last 12 months.

YouGov found a 64% reduction in Malaysian users accessing piracy sites, and a 55 percent reduction in Indonesia.

YouGov attributed the decline in online piracy levels to the piracy site blocking initiatives in Malaysia and Indonesia.

It also said a regulatory site blocking mechanism would be supported by Filipinos, with its recent survey finding that 53% agree that a “government order or law for ISPs to block piracy websites” would be the most effective.

A bill called the “Online Infringement Act” is now in the Philippine Senate, and seeks to empower authorities to ensure that internet service providers take “reasonable steps to disable access to sites whenever these sites are reported to be infringing copyright or facilitating copyright infringement.”

Globe Telecom, for its part, launched the #PlayItRight program which aims to inform people that online piracy is harmful.

“The ill effects of online piracy cannot be underestimated. We have been an advocate of content streaming through legal sites only through our #PlayItRight program. This advocacy educates people on the impacts of online piracy and on making the right choices when it comes to online consumption,” said Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu.

Meanwhile, AVIA General Manager Neil Gane expressed optimism that the Philippines would follow in the steps of Malaysia and Indonesia in combating online piracy.

“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,” he said.

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