Sunday, December 16, 2012

Agreements with Georgia and Vietnam bring total to 15

The Filipinas Copyright Licensing Society, Inc. recently signed bilateral agreements with the Georgian Copyright Association (GCA) and the Vietnam Reproduction Rights Organization (VIETRRO), making a total of 15 bilateral agreements with RROs from different countries.

The agreements were concluded by FILCOLS board member and CentralBooks executive Jose Paolo M. Sibal and FILCOLS executive director Alvin J. Buenaventura at the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations (IFRRO) World Congress and annual general meeting held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in October 2012.

                Buenos Aires city center with the Metropolitan Cathedral at the corner of Plaza de Mayo.                             (Photo by Alvin J. Buenaventura)

Principle of national treatment
Bilateral agreements between collective management organizations (CMOs) or RROs are guided by the principle of national treatment. Championed by the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Berne Convention), the principle of national treatment provides that foreign and local rightsholders be treated equally in countries who signed the international treaty.

The Philippines acceded in 1950 and the treaty was in force the next year. A total of 166 countries acceded to the Berne Convention. (

Rightsholders refer to authors, publishers, heirs of authors, and other entities mandated partly or fully to manage copyright.

This means that Filipino authors are protected by law in Georgia with the same level of protection given to Georgian authors. In the same manner, Georgian authors are protected by law in the Philippines with the same level of protection given to Filipino authors.

Also known as “repertoire swap,” the bilateral agreements allow national RROs to exchange and in turn increase the body of works they manage. Due to the differences in legislation and structure of CMOs, these agreements facilitate the management of rights and exchange of remuneration.

Georgia Copyright Association
Chairman Giga Kobaladze and deputy chairwoman Tamar Kemularia signed the agreement for GCA. (
Jose Paolo M. Sibal, Alvin J.Buenaventura, Tamar Kemularia, Giga Kobaladze. (Photo by Alvin J. Buenaventura)

GCA was incorporated in 1999. In 2006, it renewed its registration with the Georgian Justice Ministry and received special status as “a non-profit legal union created to implement and protect the rights of its member authors and performers, or their successors.”

GCA is the only collective management organization recognized by the Ministry of Justice. It is a multi-purpose CMO which manages copyright and related rights in Georgia. This means that GCA performs the functions of an RRO and CMO for music, video, visual arts, and performers.  

FILCOLS is the national RRO which manages the secondary use of copyrighted text and image only. The Philippine music CMO is the Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (FILSCAP). Because FILCOLS and FILSCAP manage the rights of different rightsholders, GCA signed separate bilateral agreements with them.

One of the new republics in the South Caucasus, Georgia has a land area of about 69,700 sq. km. (26,000 sq. mi.) and a population of 4.7 million. It is bounded by Russia, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the Black Sea.

 Viet Nam Reproduction Rights Organization
Dr. Cao Kim Anh, head of communications and external relations, signed the agreement for VIETRRO. (

Alvin J. Buenaventura, Dr. Cao Kim Anh, and Jose Paolo M. Sibal. (Photo by Larry Goldbetter)
In 2010, the Ministry of Home Affairs of Viet Nam approved the establishment of VIETRRO.

VIETRRO is the national RRO in the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. Viet Nam is a member of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), it has a land area of about 331,000 sq. km. (128,000 sq. mi.) and a population of 87 million.

In the past, FILCOLS signed agreements with RROs from Argentina, Australia, Colombia, Denmark, India, Japan, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, UK, and US. 

The author allows the reposting of the unaltered article along with photos in other websites as long as the following is included at the end:
Text by Alvin J. Buenaventura. Photos by Alvin J. Buenaventura and Larry Goldbetter. For more information, please visit

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