Copyright is a legal term used to describe the exclusive rights granted to authors, artists and other creators for their creations. The IP Code extends legal protection, in the form of copyright, to the owner of the rights to an original work, such as books and other writings, musical works, films, paintings, photographs, computer programs and others (as listed in Section 172 of the IP Code).
What you need to know
The Philippine’s IP Code grants authors, artists and other creators automatic protection for their literary, scientific and artistic creations, from the moment they are created. The IP Code defines ‘author’ as the person who has created the work. Therefore, when applying for copyright registration in the Philippines, the author of the work must be a natural person.
There are two types of rights under the copyright system of the Philippines: economic rights and moral rights. Economic rights are limited in time and can be licensed or sold. They consist of the exclusive rights of the creator or author to exploit their works. Authors have the right to authorise or prevent the use and copying of the work, its public performance (e.g. playing copyrighted songs in public areas) and/or the transformation of the work (e.g. adaptation of a book to a movie). Moral rights, which last during the lifetime of the author and in perpetuity after the author’s death, are independent from economic rights. These are not assignable or subject to a license. Moral rights entitle the author or creator to take measures to protect the connection between himself and the work. This includes the right to:
- Require authorship of the works to be attributed to him/ her;
• Make alterations to the work prior to, or withhold it from, publication;
• Object to any distortion, mutilation, or other modification of, or other derogatory action in relation to, the work;
• Prohibit the use of their name, with respect to any work not created by them or distorted versions of their work.
The fair use of a copyrighted work for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including a limited number of copies for classroom use), research, and similar purposes is not an infringement of copyright in the Philippines. In determining fair use, the following are considered:
- The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for non-profit educational purposes;
• The nature of the copyrighted work;
• The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole;
• The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work.
To strengthen the provisions of the IP Code, Republic Act No. 10372 (the ‘IP Code amendment’) was enacted in 2013 and, among other things, initiated the following:
- Establishment of the Bureau of Copyright and Other Related Rights (BCRR), which has policy formulation, rulemaking and adjudication functions to servecopyrightandother related rights-based industries.
• Granting of visitorial powers to the IPOPHL, allowing them to act on complaints or reports and visit establishments that violate IP rights, including copyright.
• Introduction of landlord liability in case of copyright infringement cases. For example, owners of establishments or malls may now be held liable for copyright infringement if, after being given notice, they continue to allow, and benefit, from the copyright infringing activities of stalls or shops in their establishments/malls.
The owner may file an application for a certificate of registration and deposit copies of the works with the Copyright Section of the National Library or with the IPOPHL. The Applicant will be required to provide information regarding the date, place and person/entity that first completed the printing and the date, place, and person/establishment where the work was first published or sold in the Philippines.
Duration of Protection
Generally, legal protection lasts for 50 years after the death of the author of the original or derivative work. For photographic and audio-visual works, the term is 50 years from the date of publication.