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Basic Copyright

What is a Copyright?
A copyright is a property right arising from the expression of ideas whether the work is published or unpublished. The right to a copyright arises in the moment of the creation of the work.

What may be copyrighted?
In general, all original intellectual creations are protected by copyright. Literary and artistic works such as books, lectures, musical or dramatic compositions, works of applied art, photographs, audiovisual works and even computer programs are included in the list of works which are copyrighted provided by the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.

Derivative works such as translations, dramatizations and adaptations of original literary and artistic works are also protected by copyright.

Why is a Copyright important for business? Why claim a copyright? Especially for original works that may be utilized commercially, an owner of a copyright has full control of the communication of the work to the public whether in its original form or in a derivative work. This will allow the owner of the copyright the freedom to decide on the use and the exposure of the work and will give him a competitive edge which is important in the event that the work is much sought after or has a great impact on society.
How long does protection over a copyrighted work last?
The term of protection of a copyrighted work is the lifetime of the author and fifty (50) years after his death. In case of two or more authors of the copyrighted work, the protection shall be up to the lifetime of the last surviving author and fifty (50) years after his death.

What is “fair use”? When is there Copyright Infringement?
Fair use of a copyrighted work is done when a copyrighted work is used for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research. No infringement is committed in these cases.

There is infringement of a copyright when there is an interference in the exercise and control of the owner of the copyright of the communication to the public of his work such that the same is reproduced without his consent or is made accessible to the public through dramatizations, adaptations, translations, public displays, copies or public performance without his authorization.

What are the remedies of an owner of a copyright?
If there is infringement of a copyright, the owner of such may be entitled to claim actual damages from the infringer. He may also apply for an injunction against the infringer to prevent the further unauthorized use of the copyrighted work as well as seek the destruction of the copies of the work connected with the infringement.