This is a general overview and discussion relating to copyright and infringement. Please review the terms and conditions, particularly the statement that these discussions should not be taken as legal advice. We still hope this will serve as a basic guide to bloggers and everyone.
What is the law which governs copyright, infringement and intellectual property (IP) in general?
All laws on intellectual property rights, including the issues on copyright and infringement, are now consolidated in Republic Act No. 8293, also known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.
What are the “Copy or Economic Rights” under the law?
The copyright or economic rights consist of the exclusive right to carry out, authorize or prevent the following acts:
- Reproduction of the work or substantial portion of the work;
- Dramatization, translation, adaptation, abridgment, arrangement or other transformation of the work;
- The first public distribution of the original and each copy of the work by sale or other forms of transfer of ownership;
- Rental of the original or a copy of an audiovisual or cinematographic work, a work embodied in a sound recording, a computer program, a compilation of data and other materials or a musical work in graphic form, irrespective of the ownership of the original or the copy which is the subject of the rental;
- Public display of the original or a copy of the work;
- Public performance of the work; and
- Other communication to the public of the work.
Are there limitations to the copy or economic rights?
Yes. The law itself provides (Chapter VIII of Part IV) for the limitations of these rights.
What is intellectual piracy?
Intellectual piracy, which is synonymous with infringement, consists in the “doing by any person, without the consent of the owner of the copyright, of anything the sole right to do which is conferred by statute on the owner of the copyright.”
Does it matter if a person doesn’t know that the copied material is an infringement of a copyright?
No. It’s not a defense that a person did not know about the infringing nature of a material he copied and used. A person knows that the material he is copying is not his and, therefore, he copies at his peril. A copy of a pirated material is still an infringement of the original.