Philippine government has made it a State policy to protect and promote intellectual
property rights. This policy was enshrined both in the 1973 Constitution which
provides that "the exclusive right to inventions, writings and artistic
creations shall be secured to inventors, authors, and artists for a limited
period" and in the 1987 Constitution which explicitly mandates that the
State shall protect intellectual property.
The Philippines became a member of the World Intellectual
Property Organization [WIPO] in 1980.
What is the law?
Intellectual Property Rights in the Philippines are currently governed
by the new Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines. The Philippines
is also a member of the Berne
Convention for the protection of Literary and Artistic Works.
Under the new Code, original works are protected by the sole
fact of their creation. It is not necessary to register a work, or to
do anything else to obtain the protection of the code. Further more, original
works are protected regardless of their content, quality, purpose, or
the form of their expression.
Among other things, the Code expressly protects computer programs as literary
works. The Code also protects the copyright in the manuals and packaging,
which accompany the software.
Some notable points about the new law are:
- It expressly protects databases and tables.
- It grants an exclusive rental right to the copyright
- It recognizes and expands the protection of an authors
moral rights.That is, the right of an author to preserve
the integrity of their works and their name.
- It penalizes the possession of infringing software for
the purposes of sale.
How does the law work?
Intellectual Property Rights Code protects the copyright owners
rights by giving the copyright owner the exclusive right to do certain
things with the works, which in this case are the computer
program, the manuals, and the packaging.
These exclusive rights include:
- The right to copy the whole program or a substantial
part of it.
- The right to adapt or translate the program.
- The right to rent the program to another person.
This means that you may only copy, adapt or rent a computer
program if the copyright owner gives you the permission to do this.
This permission is given in the form of a license.
Every time you purchase a legitimate copy of a computer program, you will
receive a license agreement. This agreement will tell you how you may
use the computer program. If you do anything with the computer program,
which is not permitted under the license agreement (or the IP Code), then
you will have breached the Code and will be liable for the penalties.
What is software piracy?
Perhaps the most visible type of software piracy is the sale of counterfeit
CD-ROMs in retail outlets. However, there exist numerous forms of software
piracy, each of which contributes to the billions lost in revenue to the
software industry annually.
The five common types of software piracy are:
- Software Counterfeiting
This is the illegal duplication and sale of copyrighted material with
the intent of directly imitating the copyrighted product. In the case
of packaged software, it is common to find counterfeit copies of the
CDs or diskettes incorporating the software program, as well as related
packaging, manuals, license agreements, labels, registration cards,
and security features.