The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) stressed the importance of raising intellectual property (IP) awareness in the fight against piracy as the Office recently joined book publisher Rex Education in its Stop Piracy campaign.
“Raising people’s awareness of IP will help give them the mindset that piracy and counterfeiting are crimes,” IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said during the press conference Rex Education held 17 January 2023 at the Manila Hotel.
“We believe IP awareness starts with education,” Barba said.
The Director General noted that IPOPHL has been working with the Philippine Science High School System and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to include IP in the school curricula and teach IP respect at a young age as much as possible.
“We should teach the right values to our children and instill in them the idea that piracy and counterfeiting are stealing and should not be allowed,” he explained.
The event was part of Rex’s ongoing anti-piracy campaign launched last September at the Manila International Book Fair to educate people about piracy and stop the illegal reproduction and distribution of copyrighted works.
During the event, Atty. Dominador Buhain, chairman of Rex Education, thanked IPOPHL and other law enforcement agencies present for not letting up in going after content pirates.
“The support of law enforcement will not totally eliminate content piracy if we never condone or tolerate piracy in all its forms. We should continue to educate, communicate and instill among our colleagues, families and children the true appreciation of the value of one’s own work,” said Buhain.
Barba agreed, saying that IPOPHL is united with Rex Education in its aspiration to eradicate piracy and counterfeiting in the country.
To this end, he said IPOPHL is aggressively pursuing IP enforcement operations with other government agencies like the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), who was also among Rex Education’s latest partners in its anti-piracy campaign.
The NBI, Barba noted, is also an active member of the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR), a 15-member body, which IPOPHL steers as acting chair.
The IPOPHL chief added that IPOPHL’s efforts to raise people’s awareness of IP rights through information and education programs have been bearing fruit with most IP violation reports being filed by the public.
As of October 2022, about 76% of total reports and complaints lodged at the IP Rights Enforcement Office were from concerned citizens.
However, Barba urged IP owners to be more vigilant and file complaints against those who commercially use their IP without authorization, underscoring how an aggressive enforcement strategy can help protect their brand identity in the long term
After the discussion, Rex, IPOPHL, the NBI and the different academic groups present during the event signed a statement of cooperation against piracy.
Currently, 19 organizations and government institutions have joined Rex in their campaign.
Aside from IPOPHL and the NBI, the Supreme Court of the Philippines, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the National Book Development Board, the Legal Education Board, the Philippine Association of Law Schools, the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations of the Philippines and the Philippine Association for Teachers and Educators Foundation have joined the call. ### (Joseph Nacino, Communications and Marketing Writer)