We are living in a world were change is the only permanent there is. Our way of living change as years go by, and as years go by our technology adopts in our everyday living which evolves to help us to improve things around us which will help us to adopt in our new generation were technology is every were, from small things to the bigger things around us we can see there is technology.
Our government raises funds to improve our machinery which helps to build building, structures and facilities that helps to meet the needs of the citizens and also our government uses new technology to help them improve their services which the public needs and services expected to them. Such technology gives us a brighter future to cope with our continuous needs as humans. We seek for the improvement of our technology that sometimes most of the companies around the world does not need the manpower anymore, which limits the jobs that gives opportunity to the people who seeks jobs that fits their skill and competencies. It is sad to say that as our technology improves and helps the people in their needs limits the opportunities that are available for the people. We can see that technology applies from the very foundation of one’s life which is education.
Technology plays a large role in many aspects of day-to-day life, and education is no different. Technology is rapidly changing the way students learn and how instructors teach. Computers have replaced chalkboards as the go-to tool in classrooms today. And it’s not just happening in higher education technology is part of education for children of all ages. It’s also a part of their daily lives.
On December 8, 2010 a bill was filed in the House of Representatives which known to be House Bill No. 3841 or the Copyright Bill. The copyright bill introduce amendments to the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines or the IP Code, it is specifically regards to the copyright provisions. It proposes changes to the existing structure of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL). The Copyright Bill seeks to cover the current gaps in the provisions embedded in the IP Code in connection to copyright and to provide copyright protection and enforcement. It is the consolidation of three House Bills pending in pending in the 15th Congress: House Bill Nos. 47, 267, and 2041. House Bill Nos. 47 and 267 both seek to address the problems brought about by the Internet: rampant unauthorized reproduction of copyrighted works. House Bill No. 2041 sought an expansion of the concept of fair use: exemption from securing permission for reproduction of the work in a specialized format for the blind or visually-impaired. The consolidated bill adds several other provisions, ultimately with the goal to secure stronger rights for artists and authors.
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time. Generally, it is “the right to copy”, but also gives the copyright holder the right to be credited for the work, to determine who may adapt the work to other forms, which may perform the work, who may financially benefit from it. Works are protected by the sole fact of their creation, irrespective of their mode or form of expression, as well as their content, quality and purpose. And in connection thereof, there are two types of Rights that the Copyright provides such as Economic Rights and Moral Rights.
Basically Economic Rights refer to the rights of the author or copyright owner to derive financial reward from the use of his works by others.
Moral Rights refer to the rights of the author to claim authorship of the work (Right of Paternity) and the right to restrain the use of his name with respect to any work not of his own creation or a distorted version of his work.
These two Rights protect not only the author but also the original work of the said author for the misuse of other people for any purpose they may be.
How long does the protection last?
In general, the term protection given of the works under copyright covers the lifetime of the author and fifty years after his death.
There are questions that are frequently asked on the amendments to the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines. And there questions are:
1.) Am I still allowed to import books, DVDs, and CDs from abroad?
2.) Is jailbreaking or rooting my phone or device illegal?
3.) Is the reproduction of copyrighted material for personal purposes punishable by this law?
4.) Are mall owners liable for infringement activities of their tenants?
5.) Is it legal for the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to visit businesses to conduct searches based on reports, information, and complaints?
6.) Is the possession of, for example, a music ﬁle procured through an infringing activity a violation of this law?
The abovementioned question are rooted due to our continuous evolution of our technology and these are only few questions are frequently asked.
Am I still allowed to import books, DVDs, and CDs from abroad?
The government answered ” Yes. In fact, the amendments to the Intellectual Property Code have removed the original limitation of three copies when bringing legitimately acquired copies of copyrighted material into the country. Only the importation of pirated or infringed material is illegal. As long as they were legally purchased, you can bring as many copies you want, subject to Customs regulations”.
The answer of the government is correct in a way that it is stated that you can use those materials such as books for personal use only and it would be illegal to reproduce copies and sell it to the market but still my question is how sure is the government that those materials such as books are only personal used by the buyer when reproduce? Because for me once a person already acquired a material for example a comic book that was bought in the United States he or she can make a copy of it and share to anyone who is interested in the said material, yes it is not illegal because you lawfully purchase the comic book and reproduce it for personal used, what if that person reproduce 5 copies after he got back the Philippines and sell it to his friends? The original material is already imported lawfully but sells the said copies illegally because there is no authorization of the author to sell it here in the Philippines. The answer of the government is vague when it comes to what if 50 copies of Marvel Comic books are bought abroad and brought here in the Philippines and discloses that it was for personal use, yes it is not reproduce because all copies are original but what if he sells some of the copies here in the Philippines? Or even when a person who have a device such as iphone, Ipad or tablet and went to a mall where he paid for the installation of 50 application for 500 pesos and all applications, songs, and books are downloaded in the said device would it be infringement? If yes, does our government have the capability to penalize all violators of such law? The law making bodies opened a many doors to questions on how and what when they amended or deleted section 190.1 and 190.2.
Is jailbreaking or rooting my phone or device illegal?
The Government answered: No. Jailbreaking or rooting by themselves are not illegal. However, downloading pirated material, or committing infringement with a “jailbroken” phone increases the penalty and damages imposed on the person found guilty of infringement.
I say that the answer of the government is somehow one way of saying that “yes it is not illegal to jailbreak or rooting your device but you are 90 percent liable already because of the application offered in the internet without payment”. With this law how can one person who has this certain gadget enjoy the maximum capacity of his device, because the manufacturer can only offer limited application and most of application have price with it but in the market you can download many application for example in iphones when one have his iphone jailbreak the owner can now download application for free in the internet which are shared by the others who already pay for the said application, would that person already be liable. The government limits the maximum capacity of the devices because the purpose of Jailbreak and rooting is for the owner of the device to download crack application that are now free for the public to download.
Is the reproduction of copyrighted material for personal purposes punishable by this law?
The Government answered: No. Infringement in this context refers to the economic rights of the copyright owner. So, if you transfer music from a lawfully acquired CD into a computer, then download it to a portable device for personal use, then you didn’t commit infringement. But if, for example, you make multiple copies of the CD to sell, then infringement occurs.
The government is correct and I agree on what they have stated because without the authority of the artist or the recording company it will be a violation of the rights of the artist that there piece has been reproduce and sold to the public without his or her permission, it is fair enough to say that as long it was for personal use only and not for selling in the market, but in spite of this law, my question is, there many people out in the market who reproduce such illegal copies of cd’s and selling It to the market, can they handle the number of population of violators of such law? Reproducing and selling infringe materials have long been illegal but until now it cannot be stop, because there is something wrong with the implementation of such law.
Are mall owners liable for infringement activities of their tenants?
The Government answered: Mall owners are not automatically penalized for the infringing acts of their tenants. When a mall owner or lessor finds out about an infringement activity, he or she must give notice to the tenant, then he or she will be afforded time to act upon this knowledge. As stated above, the law requires that one must have both proven knowledge of the infringement, and the ability to control the activities of the infringing person, to be held liable. The mall owner must also have benefitted from the infringement.
It is fair to say that the Mall owner may be liable for such violation of infringement if it was proven that he have a knowledge about the illegal activities of his tenant but it may also be unfair for them to be penalized for the same amount of offense because of illegal activities of his tenant, it would violate their right to property and due process of law. The Revise Penal Code provides that that the mall owners are liable for infringement in the manner as the person who directly committed such crime. The law is still open for clarification of its vagueness atleast somehow they fix this problem in order not to violate the rights of the mall owner.
Is it legal for the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to visit businesses to conduct searches based on reports, information, and complaints?
The Government answered: The IPO may visit establishments based on reports and complaints; this in itself is constitutional. However, if the IPO intends to perform a search and seizure, it must comply with constitutional requirements, such as having a search warrant. A warrant wouldn’t be required, however, if the IPO is accompanied by the Bureau of Customs or the Optical Media Board—two agencies that can perform a search and seizure on their own right without a warrant (per Republic Act No. 1937 and 9239, respectively)
I say that even if it warrantless search due to justifiable circumstance in violation of the amended code. It would still be a violation of the right of the owners under bill of rights articles III, Section 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.
Is the possession of, for example, a music ﬁle procured through an infringing activity a violation of this law?
The Government answered: Only if it can be proven that the person benefitting from the music file has knowledge of the infringement, and the power and ability to control the person committing the infringement.
Let us face the truth; even the government officials are also committing this crime by downloading infringing materials, can they accept that they can be prosecuted by downloading such materials, such songs or application in their gadgets? Or even their children must have been violated this law, can the government really face the truth that millions of Filipino will be jailed can they handles such numbers? Without being unfair to those who don’t have powers to escape from such crime? The government also limits the capabilities of the technology that offers to us by our gadget, for example can the government accommodate hundreds of people who go to malls to pay the installation of application for their gadgets? The government provides a hypothetical solution of such amendment of the law.
Us our capabilities as humans to improve our present technology grows and improves I just hope that our government also improves their ways in making such laws so there would be no confusion in the part of the citizen if they will violate some laws by doing some certain acts and also to limit the vagueness of the law and clarity in the implementation of such bills. Because many of our laws still are subjected to amendment due to its unconstitutionality, I pray for the wisdom of the law makers that they don’t just amend laws because of an issue that was raise and that such laws that are passed will not violate our rights as individual to enjoy maximum capacity that life can give us without violating the rights of others.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that this article is for general information and educational purpose only. All articles contained here in this website are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of any member of the bar, my school or any other organization that I may or may not be affiliated with or connected to. In accordance with the law, this is not intended to constitute legal advice, and nothing in the articles or comments should be taken as such.