Philippine record labels scored a legal victory against piracy when the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) slapped a 72-hour temporary restraining order on www.Kat.ph, which users can access to download music for free.
Based on the three-page order from IPOPHL dated June 7, the Bureau of Legal Affairs found basis to issue a TRO, to prevent the owners of Kat.ph or Kickasstorrent from “continuously facilitating the reproduction and distribution of the copyrighted sound recordings of the complainants,” represented by the Philippine Association of the Record Industry Inc.
This group is comprised of MCA Music Inc., PolyEast Records Corp., Vicor Music Corp., Viva Records Corp. and Warner Music Philippines Inc.
The TRO likewise ordered DOTPH, the official domain registry in the Philippines, to stop providing the domain name Kat.ph, thus disabling the website.
“The matter is of extreme urgency since Kat.ph continually facilitates the unauthorized file sharing of OPM songs and DOTPH continues to provide the domain name kat.ph, which if not restrained, will cause grave injustice and irreparable injury to complainants,” the order stated.
The TRO has lapsed but Pari has sought to make the TRO permanent, thus contributing to the country’s efforts to fight piracy.
Pari members sell and distribute the majority of all recorded music in the Philippines and own the copyright to thousands of sound recordings.
As owner of the sound recordings, the members of the group have the “exclusive right to authorize the direct and indirect reproduction of their sound recordings in any manner or form and the placing of these reproductions in the market.”
Kat.ph is considered a “BitTorrent website where users can download copyright materials through BitTorrent/HTTP/FTP download management software. BitTorrent works by downloading small bits of file from many different web sources at the same time,” the order said.