Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual Property Rights

The 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. Furthermore, 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 owner.
  • It recognizes and expands the protection of an author’s “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 owner’s 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.

Call center work are considered as careers by Filipinos who are now working in these facilities. A majority of them came from prominent educational institutions in the country and are all college graduates. The attrition rate is less than 5% where an average call center worker last for no less 2 and a half years compared to 8 to 9 months in the US.

Outsourcing Record

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:

  • End-user piracy

    This is the most damaging form of software piracy to the BSA, and is also known as “corporate end-user piracy.” This occurs when businesses, schools, nonprofit organizations and government institutions make additional copies of software without authorization.

  • Client-server Overuse

    This occurs when too many employees on a network use a central copy of a program at the same time.

  • Internet Piracy

    While there are many publishers who offer authorized versions of their software for sale online, there are also numerous pirate operations on the Internet as well:

    • Pirate websites that make software available for free download or in exchange for uploaded programs.
    • Internet auction sites that offer counterfeit, out-of-channel, infringing copyright software.
    • Peer-to-Peer networks that enable unauthorized transfer of copyrighted programs.

    Internet piracy represents perhaps the single greatest threat to electronic commerce.

  • Hard Disk Loading

    This occurs when the business who sells you a new computer loads illegal copies of software onto its hard disk to make the purchase of the machine more attractive.

  • 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.

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