News & Updates

IPOPHL’s Voluntary Site Blocking Rules Take Effect 14 January 2024

First voluntary site blocking mechanism in Asia-Pacific; second in the world

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (“IPOPHL”) Rules on Voluntary Administrative Site Blocking (“Site Blocking Rules”) or Memorandum Circular No. 2023-025 dated 20 September 2023, which allows the blocking of pirate websites by internet service providers (“ISP/s”) became effective on 14 January 2024 after its publication last 14 November 2023.

Under the Site Blocking Rules, a copyright owner or a right holder, through a Verified Complaint, may file an application with IPOPHL’s IP Rights Enforcement Office (“IEO”) for the issuance of a Request to an ISP to Block or Disable Access to Pirate Websites.

A pirate website is defined under the Site Blocking Rules as “a website that that has the primary purpose or effect of infringing copyright or facilitating copyright infringement and/or that contains goods, materials, or contents which are made, produced, or replicated, without the consent of copyright owner (or) right holder”.

Upon a finding of piracy, the Supervising Director or the Deputy Director General of the IPOPHL shall issue a Request to the ISP/s to take one or more of the following steps to disable access to the pirate website:

  1. Domain Name System (“DNS”) blocking with respect to all Domain Names where the infringing online location operates;
  2. IP address blocking or re-routing with respect to static IP addresses for infringing online locations;
  3. Uniform Resource Locator (“URL”) blocking of the target online location and their domain names; or
  4. Any other alternative technical means for disabling access.

The Site Blocking Rules also contain a mechanism to prevent a pirate website from circumventing any Request by changing its Domain Name or IP Address.

To implement the Site Blocking Rules, IPOPHL has signed: (1) a Memorandum of Understanding with ISPs, namely Globe Telecom, Inc., Smart Communications, Inc., PLDT, Inc., Sky Cable Corp. and DITO Telecommunity Corp., wherein the ISPs have committed to willingly block pirate websites upon IPOPHL’s request; and (2) a Memorandum of Agreement with the National Telecommunications Commission, which has regulatory supervision over ISPs.

If you wish to know more about the Site Blocking Rules, the first voluntary site blocking mechanism in Asia-Pacific (second in the world), and the IPOPHL’s enforcement powers, you may reach out to our firm’s IP Enforcement team:

Carlo B. Valerio
Email: [email protected]/[email protected]
Mobile: 09176284971
Tel. No.: +632 8810 5858
Fax No.: +632 8810 3838