Congressman in the Philippines with strong MPAA ties is pushing bill that would jail illegal downloaders. Minimum 2 years for first offense.

Thought the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was bad? A similar bill introduced into the Philippines’ House of Representatives would penalize people who illegally download with a minimum two-year jail sentence and fines of 50,000 to 150,000 Phillippine pesos. ($1,200-$3,600).

“Piracy is theft of intellectual property and is no more justifiable than shoplifting,” saidRepresentative Irwin Tieng, who introduced the bill, H.B. 6187. “The damage done to the entertainment industry and legitimate end users do not outweigh the few advantages that piracy does have,” he added.

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Fiercely advocating for greater copyright enforcement, though, may be a conflict of interest. Tieng’s uncle is Wilson Tieng, the CEO of Filipino entertainment conglomerate Solar.

Irwin Tieng has successfully introduced two related bills that became law. One, the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009, is designed to help government agencies better crack down on child pornography, though critics say that comes at the expense of the government having too much ability to dictate the role of citizens’ Internet service providers.


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