Manila, May 23, 2003 --  "Piracy of optical disc products today . . . 
causes the greatest losses to the copyright industries and poses the 
greatest threats to them," the US-based International Intellectual Property 
Alliance (IIPA) said in its 2003 Special 301 Report.
IIPA's 301 Report addresses concerns of the US copyright industry, as 
contained in Section 301 of the US Trade Act of 1974.

The IIPA is a private sector coalition formed in 1984 to represent the US 
copyright-based industries in bilateral and multilateral efforts to improve 
international protection of copyright materials.

The illegal recopying of optical discs productswhich include formats such 
as compact discs (CDs), video CDs (VCDs), CD-ROMs, (CD-Rs) and digital 
versatile discs (DVD)in the country continue to rake in millions of pesos 
for the crime syndicates and remains a threat to the existence of the 
legitimate distributors around the world.

The IIPA estimated losses due to copyright violations of motion pictures in 
2002 amounted to $30 million, a 7-percent increase of 2001's $28 million. 
For both years, the piracy level remained at 80 percentthis means that for 
every five motion picture discs being sold in the Philippine market, four 
are illegal copies.

Losses in the records and music industry amounted to $20 million in 2002, 
13-percent lower than $23-million registered in 2001. However, piracy level 
increased from 36 percent in 2001 to 40 percent in 2002, owing to the 
increased demand.

For business software applications, losses last year amounted to $20.1 
million, a little higher than the $19.9 million in 2001. Piracy level also 
went down from 63 percent in 2001 to 61 percent in 2002.

In the entertainment software division, the IIPA has no records in terms of 
losses; however, the piracy level was estimated at 99 percent in 2001.

Losses due to pirated books went up to $45 million in 2002 from $44 million 
in 2001.
The report said the total losses due to unabated piracy in the country went 
up 0.01 percent ballooned to $116 million in 2002 compared to the $115.8 
million in 2001.

The other countries are also experiencing an uptrend in the numbers of 
piracy and estimated losses due to violations of the copyright law.

In the same report, the IIPA called for new and creative solutions to solve 
the piracy problem confronting the copyright sector, especially since 
"pirate optical disc products contain the same high quality content as 
legitimate products and easily cross national borders."

The IIPA also asked the Philippine legislative sectors to speed up the 
passage of the copyright law amendments for a more modernized protection of 
legitimate copyright holders.

The Senate Bill 1704 and the House Bill 3182, the different versions for 
the proposed amendments of the copyright law that covers copyrights, 
patents and trademarks, are still pending deliberation and approval.   (By 
Jonathan Vicente, Researcher)

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved