Monday, April 2, 2012

Singapore pays FILCOLS for copyright use of PH works

by Alvin J. Buenaventura

The Filipinas Copyright Licensing Society, Inc. (FILCOLS) recently received about PHP 200,000 from the Copyright Licensing and Administration Society of Singapore (CLASS) as remuneration for the use of works of Pinoy authors and publishers in Singapore schools.

FILCOLS is the national reproduction rights organization (RRO) organized by the Book Development Association of the Philippines (BDAP) through the support of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPO PHL) and the National Book Development Board (NBDB) in 2008.

CLASS is the national RRO of Singapore organized in 1999.

Despite Singapore’s reputation as a high-tech nation-state, its universities, colleges, and secondary schools photocopy educational materials. These world-class academic institutions know that copyright is a right recognized and respected through international treaties. These institutions get proper license from CLASS and pays for its use.

The CLASS-FILCOLS bilateral agreement was signed by CLASS CEO Paul Wee and FILCOLS executive director Alvin Buenaventura. Present at the signing were John-Willy Rudolph, founding chairman of the Norwegian Copyright Development Association (NORCODE) and former Kopinor CEO; Bruce Funkhouser, Copyright Clearance Center international director; Dr. Isagani R. Cruz, FILCOLS chair; Lirio P. Sandoval, BDAP president and FILCOLS trustee; Andrea Pasion-Flores, NBDB executive director; and Louie Andrew Calvario, IPO PHL copyright support services unit head.

“To be world-class not only mean academic excellence but respect for the copyright of all authors whether Singaporean or Filipino,” said Paul Wee, CLASS CEO. Academic institutions that pay lip service to copyright should not pretend to be world-class.

The remuneration was remitted to FILCOLS as part of the bilateral agreement which the two RROs signed during the Copyright: Empowering the Research University conference at the 32nd Manila International Book Fair. The conference was attended by representatives from various universities in the country.

“The bilateral agreement with CLASS and the remuneration for Pinoy authors and publishers is a stamp of approval that FILCOLS is on the right track. Now is the time for academic institutions who engage in systematic, massive photocopying to seek license from FILCOLS to legitimize such activities,” Buenaventura said.

FILCOLS and CLASS are members of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations (IFRRO).

FILCOLS joined the Brussels-based IFRRO in 2009. FILCOLS is supported by NORCODE and Kopinor, the Norwegian RRO.

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