Monday, July 30, 2012

FILCOLS inks first licensing agreement with The Manila Times College

The Filipinas Copyright Licensing Society, Inc. (FILCOLS) reached an important milestone with the signing of its first licensing agreement with The Manila Times College (TMTC) last 19 July 2012. FILCOLS chair Dr. Isagani R. Cruz and TMTC chair Dr. Dante A. Ang signed the agreement in its campus in Intramuros at the heart of Manila.

TMTC is a private tertiary educational institution established by Dr. Ang in 2003. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Manila Times, the Philippines’ oldest English daily newspaper established in 1898.

The college offers programs in Journalism; Mass Communication; Secondary Education, major in English; Film Production; and Acting for Film and TV. It has partnerships with other educational institutions like the Asia-Pacific College, Don Bosco Technical College, and Emilio Aguinaldo College. It also forged links with the Business Processing Association of the Philippines.

Established in 2008, FILCOLS is the Philippine collective management organization (CMO) in the text and image sector. FILCOLS was organized and initially funded by the Book Development Association of the Philippines (BDAP), the country’s largest book industry association.

The government through the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines and National Book Development Board (NBDB) played an important role in helping BDAP gather the authors and publishers together. The bulk of the author-members of FILCOLS come from the Writers’ Union of the Philippines (UMPIL – Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas), the largest association of Filipino authors. 

From 2010 to 2012, FILCOLS received grants for its operations from the Norwegian government through the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD); from Kopinor, the reproduction rights organization (RRO) of Norway; and the Norwegian Copyright Development Association (NORCODE).

NORAD supported FILCOLS in 2010 through NORCODE.

Kopinor Development Fund headed by Hans-Petter Fuglerud provided grants for FILCOLS in 2010 to 2012.
Hans-Petter Fuglerud visited Manila on different occasions to assess FILCOLS and provide technical advice.          (Photo by AJB)

NORCODE was formed by five Norwegian CMOs in 2007. Managing Director Frode Lovik visited the Philippines on different occasions to assess FILCOLS. Along with Kopinor, NORCODE provided grants for FILCOLS in 2010 to 2012.

NORCODE managing director Frode Løvik. (Photo by AJB)

Cruz was a founding board member of FILCOLS and was elected chair in 2010. After more than three decades as professor and publisher at the De la Salle University – Manila, he retired and then headed TMTC as its president in early 2011. Cruz is a multi-awarded author, a former undersecretary at the Department of Education, and a leader of many local and international organizations.

 FILCOLS executive director Alvin J. Buenaventura said “FILCOLS is not against the photocopying of copyrighted works in schools. Photocopying is a valuable tool in education. Some photocopying inside higher education institutions (HEIs) may be within fair use. But every semester millions of HEIs students photocopy works on a large scale. Those millions of reproduced works were made without a single cent of royalty paid to authors. These actions obviously hurt the livelihood of authors. We believe this is not fair and must be properly compensated.”

The “Fair Use” clause is a limitation on the exclusive rights of authors to their works. In section 185 of the IP Code, “use of a copyrighted work for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching including multiple copies for classroom use, scholarship, research, and similar purposes is not an infringement of copyright.”

The “multiple copies for classroom use” is the portion being used by HEIs as their “Fair Use Defense” for the massive photocopying inside their campuses. 

However, the law mandated four factors that must be considered to determine fair use: (a)The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for non-profit education purposes; (b) The nature of the copyrighted work; (c) The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and (d) The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. (Sec. 185, IP Code or RA 8293)

The effect of the use on the potential, not actual, market for or value of the work is the most important factor. Massive photocopying which happens systematically inside HEIs affects the livelihood of authors.

Buenaventura explained that in one private university he visited the author-professor complained of the “harapang pagnanakaw” (brazen stealing) of royalties due him and other authors because of the large-scale uncompensated photocopying. 

“FILCOLS believes in the balancing of rights. We agree that some use may be within Fair Use, but we know that in practice the systematic, massive photocopying goes beyond what is fair to authors and publishers. For this reason, The Manila Times College, which I also head as president, was the first institutional licensee of FILCOLS and the first school to be copyright compliant,” Dr. Cruz stressed.