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New survey shows Philippines among highest in online piracy in Southeast Asia

Manila, Philippines – In a new study about the online content viewing behavior of Filipinos, it was found that 49% of Filipinos online admit to using streaming piracy websites or torrent sites. The results also showed that the numbers spike to about 53% within the 25-34 age demographic.

Commissioned by the Asia Video Industry Association’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) and conducted by YouGov, the survey found that out of the 49% who do use streaming piracy websites or torrent sites, 47% of consumers who accessed them have cancelled their subscriptions to both local and international content services.

In comparison to neighboring countries Malaysia and Indonesia, who have seen a decline in online piracy over the past year, online piracy in the Philippines is rising. Indonesia’s YouGov survey showed a 55% reduction in Indonesians accessing piracy services while Malaysia’s found a 64% decline. 

This decline in both Malaysia and Indonesia is due to the government’s proactive piracy site blocking initiatives which has helped in the reduction of online piracy. 

Currently, the Philippine government is looking into doing the same. A bill 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.”

The survey results showed that the majority of Filipinos think that these initiatives will deter the rise in online piracy with 53% of them agreeing that a “government order or law for ISPs to block piracy websites” would be the most effective.

According to Atty Teodoro Pascua, Deputy Director General, Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), Filipino consumers should not patronize pirated content because of its risks and consequences. 

“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 organizations who are behind these illegal websites.”

Neil Gane, the General Manager of AVIA’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) also commented, encouraging the legal consumption of content.

“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.”