Monday, February 18, 2013

Filipino authors and educational institutions to benefit from new Copyright Bill

“The new Copyright Bill will help authors receive just compensation for the use of their writings. It will also make educational institutions respect copyright,” Dr. Isagani R. Cruz said in support of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHIL). IPOPHIL leads several stakeholders in encouraging Pres. Noynoy Aquino to sign the bill into law.

Dr. Cruz is the chair of Filipinas Copyright Licensing Society (FILCOLS), a not-for-profit organization of Filipino authors, publishers, and other copyright owners. FILCOLS has been working since 2009 to change the Fair Use provision in the IP Code from “multiple copies for classroom use” to “limited copies for classroom use.”

The old provision allowing “multiple copies for classroom use” was the excuse used by many educational institutions to violate the rights of authors. Due to the massive and systematic photocopying of copyrighted works for internal use of educational institutions, numerous Filipino authors were deprived of royalties. FILCOLS considers unlicensed photocopying as theft of intellectual property.

“Multiple copies for classroom use may not necessarily be fair use,” Dr. Cruz wrote in his column at the Philippine Star. Click here to view the article.

Every school year, educational institutions allow millions of students and their teachers to violate the rights of authors.
“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.

As part of the K to 12 reform program, the Department of Education (DepEd) set a good example of respect for intellectual property when it successfully obtained a license from FILCOLS allowing public school students to use copyrighted materials in Grade 1 and Grade 7 modules.

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