Bill seeks stiffer piracy penalties
MANILA, Philippines—Claiming that government efforts to stop piracy “has become an exercise in futility,” a lawmaker is proposing stiffer penalties for individuals caught violating the Intellectual Property Code.
“Making the provisions of the said Code under Republic Act 8293 more stringent and imposing stiffer penalties would help stifle intellectual property piracy which has become evident in almost all nooks and corners of the country,” Aklan Representative Teodorico Haresco Jr. said in a statement.
Haresco filed House Bill 2324 which aims to amend Section 217.1 of RA 8293 and strengthen provisions against the production and manufacture of counterfeit items such as compact discs (CDs), bags, apparel, among others.
The bill proposes the following amendments:
- First offense: imprisonment of one year to four years plus a fine ranging from P100,000 to P500,000 (instead of only up to three years and a fine ranging from P50,000 to P150,000).
- Second offense: imprisonment of four years and one day to eight years plus a fine ranging from P500,000 to P1 million (instead of three years and one day to six years plus a fine ranging from P100,000 to P500,000).
- Third and subsequent offenses: imprisonment of eight years and one day to 12 years plus a fine ranging from P1 million to P2 million (instead of only six years and one day to nine years plus a fine ranging from P500,000 to P1.5 million).
Haresco said the stiffer penalties would ensure that the “exclusive rights of scientists, inventors, artist and other gifted citizens are shielded from illegal reproduction of their works as guaranteed by the Constitution.”
The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines earlier reported that the government seized P6.13 billion worth of pirated and counterfeit goods for the months of January to September this year.
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