Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Reproduction Right: One of the Author’s Rights

6 October 2011

The Living Letter by Alvin J. Buenaventura of FILCOLS
Translated from Filipino by Beverly W. Siy

Don’t you love to munch that turon especially if it has just come out of the frying pan? What about the huge slices of langka embracing the banana, would you love to munch that as well? Triple yes!

After enjoying the food, you are expected to pay for the turon because it is the livelihood of your father-in-law, the manufacturer of the best turon in town. Burp.

The turon and the author’s work have lots of things in common. To eat a turon is to consume a work or a creation. The distinct flavor of the turon is the original expression of an idea that is being given copyright. (For the distinct flavor of your father-in-law’s turon, he may have it registered as a trade secret. And I am not joking. There is such thing as a trade secret. Examples are the formula for the barbecue sauce of Aristocrat Restaurant and the formula of Coke.)

The turon is for everyone, as long as one has money to pay for it. The accessibility of the turon can be compared to the access of the public to a work or a creation. The payment for the turon that goes to the creator, your father-in-law, can be considered as the just remuneration that an author receives when someone consumes his/her work.

Your father-in-law produces more than one turon, right? In fact, he produces a lot, about 500 pieces in a single day so that he will be able to sell them to a lot of people. He will earn loads of money even if all of his turon have the same taste.

In the copyright world, it is called reproduction right or the right of the author to reproduce his/her work so that many people can enjoy it. Of course, the more people who get to enjoy the work, the more remuneration an author receives. This is part of the livelihood of an author.

Therefore, every work and every copy of the work has an economic power. It means the work and the copy of the works are sources of income. It simply means that it can give life and comfort to the author, actually, the author and the entity that are responsible for the reproduction of the work.

It follows that the work and copies of the work are part of an author’s livelihood, part of an author’s lifeline.

Is it legal?

Of course!

According to the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines (from sec. 177), the author, subject to the provisions of Chapter VIII, has copyright or economic rights that shall consist of the exclusive right to carry out, authorize or prevent the following acts:
177.1. Reproduction of the work or substantial portion of the work;
177.2 Dramatization, translation, adaptation, abridgment, arrangement or other transformation of the work;
177.3. The first public distribution of the original and each copy of the work by sale or other forms of transfer of ownership;
177.4. 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; (n)
177.5. Public display of the original or a copy of the work;
177.6. Public performance of the work; and
177.7. Other communication to the public of the work (Sec. 5, P. D. No. 49a)

The word right means two things: one is the economic right and the other one is the moral right. Moral right is the right to be recognized as the author of the work. Economic right is the right to earn from his/her own work.

Authors, publishers or heirs of copyright owners are invited to join FILCOLS. We will help you protect your copyright over your works. To join, one only needs to have published works, or one must be the heirs of an author or has the right to manage the rights of an author. Membership is free. If you have queries, email us at

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