Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Post-event 1st FILCOLS Huntahan (with writers from TV and film industry) September 1, 2010

FILCOLS (Filipinas Copyright Licensing Society, Inc.) is a private non-profit corporation that aims to be the administrator of copyrights of literary, dramatic, educational and other artistic works including scientific creations on print.

Being the national RRO (reproduction rights organization), FILCOLS has bilateral agreements with foreign RROs. That means the extent of protection that it can give to authors is not limited to the Philippines only.

The officers of the SGP (Screenwriters’ Guild of the Philippines) were happy to be invited to the first of a series of consultation with the stakeholders. Also present was veteran writer Lualhati Bautista who hinted the suspected plagiarism on her book Desaparesidos.

Atty. Louie Calvario of IPO Philippines (Intellectual Property Rights Office) was the main speaker. The young lawyer provided a comprehensive orientation on copyrights by clearly identifying what and what cannot be protected.

It’s surprising to know that an Idea, Concept or Principle cannot be copyrighted. That includes systems and procedures, discoveries and even news. According to Atty. Calvario, what you can protect is the way the idea was expressed.

With focus on the script, plagiarism is very difficult to prove unless the written work was copied word for word. Same goes with books and periodicals, visual arts, photographs and even computer programs.

The creator has an inherent right to his original work. So when there is an infringement of that right, the creator only has to show proof of ownership like a copyright certificate. But Atty. Calvario admitted that a plagiarism case is hard to prove unless you have a ton of evidences.

FILCOLS executive director Alvin Buenaventura emphasized the desire of their organization to extend help to writers with copyright problems. FILCOLS also offered membership forms to the seminar attendees.

“This is just the start of our road-mapping,” says Alvin Buenaventura, the executive director of FILCOLS. He intimated that that it may take 5 years before the mechanism could be set up. Presently, FILCOLS is in the data gathering stage.

Instead of the closing remarks, Alvin had requested everyone to submit questions relevant to the subject of copyrights. Suggestions, questions and relevant matters can be e-mailed to

Written by Alex Socorro.
Original post:
Photos courtesy of FILCOLS.

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