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Republic Act No. 8293, otherwise known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines (“IP Code”), is the law governing copyright, in addition to international treaties which the Philippines is a signatory to.

Under the IP Code, copyright subsists in original and intellectual creations which are defined by the enumeration of such works namely:

1. Books, pamphlets, articles and other writings;
2. Periodicals and newspapers;
3. Lectures, sermons, addresses, dissertations prepared for oral delivery, whether or not reduced in writing or other material form;
4. Letters;
5. Dramatic or dramatico-musical compositions; choreographic works or entertainment in dumb shows;
6. Musical compositions, with or without words;
7. Works of drawing, painting, architecture, sculpture, engraving, lithography or other works of art; models or designs for works of art;
8. Original ornamental designs or models for articles of manufacture, whether or not registrable as an industrial design, and other works of applied art;
9. Illustrations, maps, plans, sketches, charts and three-dimensional works relative to geography, topography, architecture or science;
10. Drawings or plastic works of a scientific or technical character;
11. Photographic works including works produced by a process analogous to photography; lantern slides;
12. Audiovisual works and cinematographic works and works produced by a process analogous to cinematography or any process for making audio-visual recordings;
13. Pictorial illustrations and advertisements;
14. Computer programs; and
15. Other literary, scholarly, scientific and artistic works

Moreover, derivative works such as dramatizations, translations, adaptations, abridgements, arrangement, collections and compilation of materials and other data are also protected as new works and proper subjects of copyright.

It must be emphasized that works are protected by the sole fact of creation, irrespective of their mode or form of expression. The law protects the copyright owner from the moment of creation. No registration is necessary to secure such right. Registration and deposit with the Intellectual Property Office is only for the purpose of completing the records of the National Library and the Supreme Court.

As a copyright owner, the IP Code grants both economic and moral rights to the creator. The copyright or economic rights shall consist of the exclusive right to carry out, authorize or prevent the following acts:

1. Reproduction of the work or substantial portion of the work;
2. Dramatization, translation, adaptation, abridgment, arrangement or other transformation of the work;
3. The first public distribution of the original and each copy of the work by sale or other forms of transfer of ownership;
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;
5. Public display of the original or a copy of the work;
6. Public performance of the work; and
7. Other communication to the public of the work.

As for moral rights, the copyright owner shall have the right:

1. To require that the authorship of the works be attributed to him;
2. To make any alterations of his work prior to, or to withhold it from publication;
3. To object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification of, or other derogatory action in relation to, his work which would be prejudicial to his honor or reputation; and
4. To restrain the use of his name with respect to any work not of his own creation or in a distorted version of his work.

In general, the copyright in works shall be protected during the life of the author and for fifty (50 years after his death.

To learn more about Philippine copyright, you may e-mail us at[email protected].

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