Why It’s Important to Understand the Dangers and Consequences of Digital Piracy

Imagine a world without authors, writers, content creators, editors, and artists today. One might ask, “Why do I have to imagine this”? Well, it is a thought, and it could happen if people keep disrespecting others’ works and if copyright infringement and intellectual property (IP) violations persist. If this happens, the written word will be at a standstill. There would be no new content, no new books on the bestsellers’ list, no more bookshops, and no more publishing industry. The world would be in a much-reduced state of artistic expression and shared knowledge. Self-expression would be restricted. Societal progress would suffer deprivation. 

Undeniably, the Internet and digitalization have given rise to many opportunities and advancements. Learning resources are more accessible than ever, and information is readily available and widely disseminated across various channels. People only need to make one click to find the information they want and access reading materials whenever and wherever they choose. However, while digital information provides convenience and flexibility, its underlying issues already harm many, including students, content providers, and the academe. 


The problem is that, in an age when instant access to knowledge is crucial, some people quickly forget to respect writers’ and publishers’ intellectual property. Most information or content can be freely distributed online without limitations, making them prone to being replicated without authorization. A significant concern in the academe is that excellent materials are in danger of being violated in terms of copyright or intellectual property, and if this persists, authors and publishers, among others, would be at the losing end, inevitably affecting the publishing space.

Sadly, some violations are happening in broad daylight and have become a norm. Are you one of the ‘guilty innocents’?

  • Photocopy shops, sometimes in schools or near them, make unauthorized copies of books.
  • Sharing and distributing copyrighted materials, such as articles, photographs, and movies, through online platforms without permission or licensing.
  • Plagiarizing or copying substantial portions of copyrighted content without proper attribution or citations in assignments, papers, or presentations.

These are only some examples that society tolerates. While there may be valid reasons, these are disrespectful, unethical, and possibly illegal, with reference to RA 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.

The problem with IP rights also extends beyond a lack of respect and ethics; content piracy negatively impacts content creators, businesses, and even academic institutions. It limits content sales through legal methods, which hurts the revenue of content creators. Not only does it affect their income source, but it also reduces their motivation and willingness to invest in high-quality content. This could have a significantly adverse effect on the publishing industry and related sectors. 

Every year, industries suffer significant revenue losses because of digital piracy. According to the report of Media Partners Asia, the Philippines lost $781 million in revenue in 2022 due to online video piracy alone. If this is not controlled, experts project that the illicit industry will have 31 million users by 2027 and leak $1 billion annually. This poses a major risk to the country’s economy due to billions of dollars in revenue losses for legitimate content producers, and many individuals may lose their jobs if their companies suffer from it.

Rex Education digital piracy advocacy

Photo: Rex Education

On the academic side, there is the never-ending problem of textbook piracy. This topic is usually controversial, with student budgets cited as justifications. However, it is becoming more prevalent as many people illegally reproduce and distribute copyrighted content. If this persists, many publishers fear that creating high-quality content in the educational sector will become more difficult due to unsustainable losses from piracy. Authors may also lose motivation because the fruit of their hard work is not adequately compensated and, worse, not protected.

Curbing content piracy may be a hard and long battle, but fighting to keep the publishing industry and related entities flourishing and thriving is worthwhile. However, this can only be done with the collective effort of both consumers and content creators. Some consumers may think that accessing free content through illegal websites and apps is harmless, but in reality, it substantially impacts all related companies and individuals. Aside from financial losses, their morals and motivation are undermined by a lack of respect and appreciation for the value of their work. Therefore, it is also our obligation as consumers to ensure that we consume content in the most honest way possible. It is for this reason that Rex Education, in collaboration with key industries, is making great efforts to educate, communicate, and teach a genuine appreciation of one’s work among colleagues, families, and young people.

Last year, Rex Education launched its anti-piracy campaign at the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) 2022, encouraging consumers and institutions to stand against piracy, protect intellectual property, and support the local book publishing industry. REX remains zealous in its campaign against content piracy, enlisting the support of government agencies and the private sector. This is also a call to action to continue raising awareness and educating Filipinos about the damaging effects of piracy. Support the campaign: Say ‘No’ to piracy.

For more information on Rex Education’s anti-piracy campaign, you may read https://www.ipophil.gov.ph/news/ipophl-highlights-importance-of-ip-awareness-joins-bookpublishers-anti-piracy-campaign/. You may also contact cicsupport@rex.com.ph.

Rex Education is one of the country’s leading and trusted content solution providers. If you’re a college student or educator looking for high-quality educational materials and reliable resources, you may browse REX’s higher education or tertiary catalog using this link: https://online.flippingbook.com/view/879267899/