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Policies on piracy to be unified across 50 gov’t agencies

AN INTERAGENCY committee on intellectual property is aiming to help develop policies against counterfeiting and piracy in 50 government agencies by 2025.

The National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) said that 50 national agencies and 18 local government units should have such policies by the deadline on the piracy of items like software.

So far, only four government agencies have developed such policies. While all four are NCIPR members, another nine members will roll out their policies by the end of 2021, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) said in a statement Wednesday.

“As servants in government, we must be the role models in obeying the law. We must demonstrate this by being mindful of all laws, including the IP (intellectual property) Code, when formulating policies or initiatives and by taking appropriate action against violators,” NCIPR Acting Chairman and IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said.

The NCIPR in its revised vision statement said that it plans to significantly reduce counterfeit and pirated goods sold on the market, especially in urban areas, by 2025.

The committee is an interagency body headed by the Department of Trade and Industry, while IPOPHL holds the vice-chair role.

The NCIPR through its newest member the Department of Information and Communications Technology is also studying a possible audit on the use of illegal software within government agencies.

Intellectual property rights violations reports sent to IPOPHL spiked during the lockdown last year, with a majority of complaints related to piracy and counterfeiting. Most of the violations, the agency said, are done online. — Jenina P. Ibañez

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