Is this Cybercrime Law at Work?
While the controversial cybercrime law is still suspended by the supreme court, the Philippine government already seized a website and took it down from the internet.
If you are fond of illegally downloading softwares, games and movies using torrents, you might be familiar with kat.ph – also known as KickAssTorrrents. You might now say that what our government did what correct. But this means more than just busting the bad guys.
Can the Philippine government shut down other sites too?
Not really. The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) issued a TRO to dotPH, our country’s official domain name registrar to suspend kat.ph on the reason that the website makes copyrighted music available for download for its users.
Take note that kat.ph uses torrents which are just a small file containing the trackers for a particular file. That means that the website itself do not have the music or other files, they just point you to the locations of the file.
Google contains links to copyrighted contents too!
You can search a particular file on Google and if you are lucky, you will be able to download the file. But Google does not contain those files on its servers, it just contain links to those files.
In that sense, is it possible for the IPOPHL to shut down Google too? The answer is definitely no. Google did not register the domain name www.google.com in the Philippines, unlike kat.ph which was registered under dotPH. But we also have www.google.com.ph, can that be shut down? Apparently not but I’d like to see it happening.
How about my .ph blog or website?
This news must have a chilling effect to those websites and blogs that were registered under dotPH (thankfully, Pinoy Techno Guide isn’t). If the reasoning of the TRO is taken into consideration, even blogs with links to cracked softwares or youtube videos of movies and TV shows can be taken down.
Many people are already expressing their sentiments that the government should first solve the problem of DVD piracy in our country before moving on to the the level of cyber piracy. Only techie people can use kat/.ph but ordinary Filipinos can buy pirated DVD’s on the sidewalks allover the country.
What happened to kat.ph now?
To the fans of KickAssTorrents, you can still access the website at kickass.to. They’ve registered this new domain name in the country of Tonga. They are relatively safe there because they are not required to provide a WHOIS information for their domain.
Note however that Pinoy techno Guide does not condone piracy of softwares, music and movies.