Earlier this year Prime Minister Prayut-o-chan, as the Chairman of the National Intellectual Property Policy Committee, and Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, as Chairman of the sub-committee on Law Enforcement of IP Infringement ordered the Royal Thai Police, NBTC and the Department of Intellectual Property to speed up the process for blocking illegal websites related to IP violations from the previously lengthy 6-8month court process to less than 3 days.
This ambitious order has resulted in the opening of the Center of Operational Policing of Thailand Against Intellectual Property Violations and Crimes on the Internet Suppression (COPTICS).
The opening ceremony on Tuesday was attended by the national police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chajinda, Pol Maj Gen Surachate Hakparn, representatives from the US Embassy and our own Managing Partner, Satyapon Sachdecha
. Three companies and the Thai Motion Picture Industry Association immediately filed complaints against violating websites.
UPDATE: We checked with our friends at the Thai Motion Picture Association and were informed that they did not lodge a complaint themselves, as reported by Thai media outlets, although they are monitoring a complaint on behalf of a client. As of today (4 days later) the site has not been blocked and they have also informed us of some limitations that would be of interest to the community.
The most significant limitations to the system being:
1) They can only block on a per url basis, meaning they do not block an entire site just the url that contains the infringing content.
2) They cannot block secured websites, therefore any site that is https cannot be blocked.
3) Facebook and YouTube urls cannot be blocked, no explanation on this other than perhaps pressure from the industry giants Facebook and Google (who owns YouTube).
4) As it is a blocking action only which only affects users in the Kingdom, court proceedings for actual takedown will still need to be taken for permanent resolution.
Despite these limitations we believe it is still a very positive step in the right direction as the damages that can occur within a 6-8month period can be extensive and the ease and speed in which a new site can be put up is currently unaddressed by the court system.