Copyright is the grant given to the literary or artistic work of the creator. It covers the rights of the creator to exploit, make use, produce and distribute his literary or artistic work.
Unlike the other subjects covered by the Intellectual Property Law, copyright need not be registered. The law provides that intellectual creations in the literary and artistic domain are protected from the moment they are created.
However, the simplicity of the protection granted in copyright makes it difficult to ascertain whether it is already infringement of the copyright or simply fair use of the product. The difficulty arises in determining whether an act of a person is in the scope of fair use which is allowed by law or when a person is already infringing the creator’s copyright.
It may not be noticed by a lot of people, maybe due to ignorance, or maybe it is just ignored, but a lot of things around us are covered by the intellectual creations. One of which is that of the copyright granted to musical and literary creations.
Some however have misconceptions about what copyright really is. This is because of the lack in the awareness of the intellectual property rights around us.
Some think that that the famous reality television shows such as Pinoy Big Brother, Philippine Dream Academy and game shows such us Money Drop and Minute to Win are products of copy right. These are televisions that became popular in other countries that were adopted by the country. In the show PBB and PDA you can notice the logo of Endemol,the international company who created the idea and program of the show. This is a franchise granted to an applicant.
Due to the sudden influx of Asians specially Koreans in the country, Filipinos became familiar to their tradition, culture and style. Korean entertainment became popular in the Philippines. We became part of the worldwide phenomenal spread and massive consumption of Korean entertainment called as the “Hallyu Wave” or the “Korean Wave”.
Thus, local companies regularly buy licenses from Korean broadcasters for them to be able to air dubbed versions of Koreanovelas. Sometimes, when the show gets really high ratings, they even reproduce a Filipino version of the show. . This is the grant of license to the applicant.
On the other hand, there was a time before the proliferation of mp3s, where the buyer can choose a selection of songs which will be later on burned and sold. This became a trend before because you will be able to choose only the songs you want to listen to, and you get to way for the burned CD for a minimal fee. This is an example of copyright infringement, a violation of the right of the creator.
Advancement in technology is all over the globe. Technology became the growing trend and as can be noticed and observed everywhere. People nowadays are also becoming more dependent in the use of technology.
One of the apparent major changes in technology is the introduction of apple products and android phones, and the proliferation of wireless fidelity allowing users to make use of internet networks almost everywhere. The combination of the major modifications made a crucial change in the copy rights of the creators.
Another noticeable violation of the copyright is the proliferation of pirated videos and audio videos. A lot of people prefer to buy these kind of product due to the very low practical price.
You can also, purchase videos with more than one movie, making it more economical. You can purchase a video for a very low cost and the whole family can even get to watch it, and you can even replay it over and over again. The same goes with audio CD that is why a lot of musical artist no longer profit from their album because they are already pirated.
In the law setting, law books are very important to us. However a book cost a thousand pesos or more for a hard bound copy or 800 pesos or above for soft bound copy. Some professors even prescribe a number of books as reference material for a given subject.
A lot of law students are working, purchasing a law book is not that economical considering that there area lot of expenses to pay for like tuition fee and miscellaneous. It is more practical for them to have it photocopied instead of buying one.
Some photocopy centers do not accept photocopying jobs of law books for they are aware of the restrictions and penalties that may be imposed once caught reproducing law books. Some accept photocopying which are limited to just a number of pages but not the whole book. While some even go to the extent of making a book a like of the book.
With all of these, it can be said that there is no law restricting or prohibiting it. But since we have the intellectual property code, then we can say that the law lacks the implementing power to enforce it.
The Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines really do lack the implementing force. You can hardly hear any news about any body being sued for infringement despite the proliferation of a lot of pirated products.
All that we are able to hear are only reports of police officers confiscating pirated VCDs and audio CDs in the places like Quaipo, Divisoria and Baclaran. And this is the only enforcement we know of, nothing else.
Some of the law enforcement officers are even the ones who violate the law. Some of them allow sellers to sell their pirated products in exchange for a free copy of the movies they prefer. Moreover, some of the law enforcement officers are event the protectors of the pirates, they are not stopped or prevented from producing, selling, distributing the burned materials.
What the law needs is a strong implementation. There should be a bureau or agency should monitor and oversee that the right of the creators are protected, and no person would be able to infringe another persons creation.
Moreover, strong implementation should be exercised in order to assure the goal of the code of protecting the creators’ rights and to encourage creators as well to continue creating musical or literary works.
The Philippine intellectual code should be directed towards the real protection of the creators of musical and literary works. There should also be strict implementation and enforcement of the law. There should be punishment and penalties for the acts of infringement.
I have read the proposed amendment in the Intellectual Property Code. One of the amendment made is the removal of the importation restriction of books. The law used to limit the importation of the books to 3 copies of the legitimate copyrighted works.
Now, there is no longer a restriction on the number of books that can be imported. And, the said provision will no longer be considered as a copyright infringement for it falls under the fair use provision of the law.
This is a good amendment of the law for it will allow schools and other educational institutions to get hold of a number of copies of good books from all around the globe without violating the law.
Another amendment of the law is with regard to jail breaking. Apple products can be jail broken. Once the unit has been jail broken, the apple logo will look like a skull that is used to symbolize poison. After that, you can already install application in your gadget. You can also upgrade the system automatically.
Jail breaking became popular to some iPhone users because you can readily upload applications free of charge. Usually application are being bought at iTunes, however applications are expensive especially the good ones.
But when you had your unit jail broken, you lose the warranty of item the but you can download anything free of charge. Usually an apple user uploads a number number of applications in his phone since it has a big memory capacity and the purpose will be defeated that it is an all in one gadget if there are just a few applications installed.
The amendment in the law provides that any act that tends to circumvent technology shall not be considered as a crime. The law states that they are not crime in themselves. The law requires that the person should be first found guilty of copy right infringement.
Then that will be the only time that jail breaking or circumvention of technology will increase the imposable penalty to the one who infringes, moreover, damages can be awarded by the court.
The law emphasize that the person need be found guilty of copyright infringement, as jail breaking is merely an aggravating circumstance that can increase the penalty. Thus, jail breaking is not a crime under the amendments.
Another amendment of the law is grant of enforcement powers to the Intellectual Property Office. The law grants visitorial powers to Intellectual Property Office and it also allows it to undertake enforcement functions with the support of government agencies such as the Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Customs and the Local Government Units.
The agency will not be conducting raids or seizures but will be coordinating with the above mentioned government agencies to aide them in these functions. However, since intellectual property rights remain to be a private right, it shall still be required that there must be a complaint from the intellectual property rights owner.
The amended law also provides for the establishment of the Bureau of Copyright. The said bureau shall be in charge of the important functions such as policy formulation, rule making, adjudication, research and education.
This amendment is due to the fact that what we only have is a Copyright Division located at the National Library. The function of such office is limited only to merely accepting deposits of copyrighted works. But with the creation of the Copyright Bureau it shall be responsible in serving the needs of the musical and literary creators.
The amended law provides for the accreditation of collective management organizations which shall enforce the copyright of the copyright holders. Through this, the Intellectual Property Office will be able to monitor and promote good corporate governance among the collective management organizations. This will benefit not only the rights of the holders themselves but also the users of copyrighted works.
Moreover, the members of the Philippine Retailers Association, mall owners, restaurants, and other heavy users of music in their establishments will greatly benefit from this provision. With this amendment, they are ensured that only legitimate collecting agencies can collect royalties from them on behalf of copyright owners.
One of the most important amendment of the law is the fair use for the blind and visually- and reading-impaired. The provision would give a special fair use exemption for the non-commercial reproduction of works for use by visually-impaired persons.
This was done because thousands of blind Filipinos could not buy Braille works at cheap prices because the copyright protection operates. With this amendment, blind and visually impaired Filipinos can have easier access to copyrighted works in Braille.
Another important amendment of the law which applies in the Philippine setting is the formulation of intellectual property policies within universities and other academic institutions,. With this amendment it will ensure that the rights of the academic community such as the professors, researchers as well as students over their literary, scholarly and artistic works are clearly protected and respected.
With an intellectual property policy in existence, these sectors within the academe will have a clear delineation of their respective rights and benefits, thus, avoiding disputes and costly litigation within their ranks which would be detrimental to education, research and development.
The direction of the Philippine intellectual code should be focused on major factors in order to assure an effective intellectual property law especially that of copyright.
The direction of the law should be focused more on the proper implementation and enforcement of the law, the creation of the appropriate rules and regulations to be followed, the protection and awareness of the scope of the Philippine intellectual property rights and the strict monitoring and enhancement of the applicability of the law to the ever changing environment
In the proper implementation and enforcement of the law, the proposed amendment of creating a Bureau of Copyright which will work in coordination with several government units is a great move in implementing the law.
The bureau will be in charge of addressing the concerns of the copyright holders, this will give them the assurance that their right will be protected. This will also help in curtailing the rampant production of pirated CDs and VCDs. With this the economical interest of the artist and authors will be protected.
Moreover the country can promote its literary and musical creation and resources. There will be more artist and authors who will continue with their art and some will also be motivated to engage in the same industry as well, because they believe that such endeavor will be fruitful and profitable.
Another important effect is the increased economy, because the underground economy will be restricted. With this, the government can collect taxes from the legitimate copy purchases as compared to the pirated copies where taxes cannot be collected.
And, if the law provides for the appropriate rules and regulations to be followed, the newly created bureau will have a guiding procedure to follow in the enforcement of the law. There will also be a standardized criteria in determining and identifying the rights and obligations of the copyright as well as the violations of the law.
There will be a standard operating procedure that will be followed in order to prevent the capricious, malicious, despotic and arbitrary exercise of the law.
Then, with the protection and awareness to the Philippine intellectual property rights. People who don’t know what copyright is or who does not know what it really is, would never know that they are already violating the law and the rights of the creators.
If awareness is created among the people, they will know the limitations to the use or enjoyment of a certain thing. With this, it could be reasonably expected that the end result of such act is the protection of the rights of the creators. The people will know the value of the creations of artists and writers, thus will prevent the infringement of which.
Protection of the creations should be mandatory because these is the bread and butter of the literary and musical artist. If this is not protected, they will no longer have a source of income, and obviously they will no longer have the motivation to continue their art.
If following factors are to be considered and followed, we can guarantee that there will be a lot of persons who will continue wit their craft and expertise.
The law should also be catered according to the fast changing and dynamic environment. Technology modifies the world really fast, because of this we should be able to adapt and be able to go along with the current.
The Philippine Intellectual Code should be directed towards advancement, it should be able to meet the needs and demands of the environment. If our law cannot adapt to these needs, a lot of our musical and literary artists will be prejudiced. Thus, our law should be really pro active.