Quiapo among the world’s ‘most notorious’ places for piracy
By Alexander Villafania, loQal.ph
For Yahoo! Southeast Asia
QUIAPO CITY, METRO MANILA – The Manila district of Quiapo is listed as among the top most notorious places for piracy worldwide in a report by the United States Trade Representative (USTR).
The USTR’s Notorious Markets List identified 16 other locations where piracy is alleged to be at its worst. Other countries identified are China, Ecuador, Paraguay, Indonesia, Argentina, India, Ukraine, Thailand, Russia, Mexico, Pakistan, and Colombia.
According to the report, Quiapo is just one example of other locations within Metro Manila that deal with counterfeit and pirated goods, which include clothes, shoes, watches, and handbags.
Quiapo is also a haven for pirated movies, music and software in DVDs or CDs.
The USTR list also emphasized on digital or Internet piracy, particuarly peer-to-peer and torrent downloading.
Some of the identified notorious download applications and online sevices are ThePirateBay, IsoHunt, Btjunkie, and torrentz. It also identified a smartphone-based download application called 91.com, apparently operating in China.
The list was originally intended to be part of the annual USTR’s Special 301 report, but was decided to be published separately as a means to expose the locations where piracy is rampant.
It also urges government units in the these locations to intensify their activities against the distribution and selling of pirated or counterfeit items.
Meanwhile, the Special 301 is a comprehensive study of trade concerns, particularly on piracy of brands and goods, of countries that have bilateral trade agreements with the US.
The Philippine government has been fighting to have the country downgraded in the priority watchlist of USTR.
Last February, during a video conference of the Philippines-US Trade and Investment Facilitation Agreement, USTR representatives told members of the Intellectual Propert Office of the Philippines (IPOPHIL) that it will be retaining the Philippines in the ordinary watch list.
However, the USTR said it is recognizing the sustained efforts of the Philippine government in its fight against piracy and in protecting intellectual property rights in the country.
The most recent report of the IPOPHIL’s National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR), which was in late 2009, cites that at least P5.6 billion worth of counterfeit goods were seized in 2009 alone, nearly double from the previous year wherein there were P3.5 billion worth of seized goods.
Surprisingly, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) reported that in 2009 the software piracy problem in the Philippines has already ballooned to over P9 billion.
In response to the increasing piracy and counterfeit goods trade in the Philippines, the IPOPHIL initiated its Roadmap 2011 where it sets eight goals to achieve intellectual property protection and promotion in the country.
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Reposted From Yahoo! Southeast Asia